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The Transcriptionist

Fiction: Fiction / Popular Fiction
Unabridged   5 hour(s)
Publication date: 05/13/2014

The Transcriptionist

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Audio CD ISBN:9781622313419
Digital Download ISBN:9781622313426


An exquisite novel about journalism and ethics, the decline of the newspaper and the failure of language, and a woman’s efforts to establish her place in an increasingly alien and alienating world.

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Product Description

Lena, the transcriptionist, sits alone in a room far away from the hum of the newsroom that is the heart of the Record, the big city newspaper for which she works. For years, she has been the ever-present link for reporters calling in stories from around the world. Hooked up to a machine that turns spoken words to print, Lena is the vein that connects the organs of the paper. She is loyal, she is unquestioning, yet technology is dictating that her days there are numbered.

When she reads a shocking piece in the paper about a Jane Doe mauled to death by a lion, she recognizes the woman in the picture. They had met on a bus just a few days before. Obsessed with understanding what caused the woman to deliberately climb into the lion’s den, Lena begins a campaign for truth that will destroy the Record’s complacency and shake the venerable institution to its very foundation. In doing so she also recovers a life—her own.


“[Xe] Sands’s performance, like Lena, is mesmerizing in its seeming simplicity.”
      —Publishers Weekly (May 2014)

“Xe Sands’s ironic tone fits Lena, the questioning transcriptionist who begins to wonder about herself and life. . . . Sands’s narration reflects the loneliness and emptiness that inspire her new direction.”

“Soulful, perceptive.”
      —Buffalo News

“Rowland . . . has written a strange, mesmerizing novel about language, isolation, ethics, technology, and the lack of trust between institutions and the people they purportedly serve. . . . A fine debut about the decline of newspapers and the subsequent loss of humanity.”
      —Booklist [HC starred review]

“Disturbing and powerful; the skillfully drawn Lena may remind some readers of an existentialist hero.”
      —Library Journal

Author Bio

AMY ROWLAND has spent more than a decade at the New York Times, where she worked, notably, as a transcriptionist before moving to the Book Review copy desk. Her articles have appeared in numerous publications, including the Times, the Smart Set, and the Utne Reader. She lives in New York City.

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