The Transcriptionist

By Amy Rowland
(Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, Paperback, 9781616204501, 272pp.)

Publication Date: January 2015

Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover, Compact Disc

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Description
"Haunting and provocative . . . Rowland's writing is compelling and masterful." --Delia Ephron, author of "The Lion Is In" Once, there were many transcriptionists at the "Record, " a behemoth New York City newspaper, but new technology has put most of them out of work. So now Lena, the last transcriptionist, sits alone in a room--a human conduit, silently turning reporters' recorded stories into print--until the day she encounters a story so shocking that it shatters the reverie that has become her life. This exquisite novel, written by an author who spent more than a decade as a transcriptionist at the "New York Times, " asks probing questions about journalism and ethics, about the decline of the newspaper and the failure of language. It is also the story of a woman's effort to establish her place in an increasingly alien and alienating world. ""The Transcriptionist" is suffused with prescient insight into journalism, ethics, and alienation . . . A thought provoking, original work." --"New York Journal of Books " "Rowland seems that rare thing, the naturally gifted novelist . . . She] deftly maps a very specific kind of urban loneliness, the inner ache of the intelligent, damaged soul who prefers the company of ideas and words to that of people . . . That urge--to make words holy--is at the heart of this novel's strange, sad beauty." --"The Washington Post" ""The Transcriptionist" holds many pleasures . . . and] can be read through many lenses . . . Rowland plays with the notions of truth and reliability . . . Sharp and affecting." --"The New York Times Book Review" "A strange, mesmerizing novel . . . about the decline of newspapers and the subsequent loss of humanity--and yes, these are related." --"Booklist, "starred review "Ambitious and fascinating . . . Disturbing and powerful." --"Library Journal" "Entering the city Rowland creates, with its tightly strung dialogue and soulful, lonely citizens, is a memorable experience." --"The Boston Globe" "Unforgettable. Written with such delight, compassion, and humanity it's newsworthy."--Alex Gilvarry, author of "From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant"

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