IT’S WHAT I DO receives Earphones Award from AudioFile Magazine

I am thrilled to announce that my performance of IT’S WHAT I DO: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War by Lynsey Addario for Blackstone Audio, has received AudioFile Magazine‘s Earphones Award. The text of the review can be found below, along with a direct link to the review and audio sample on AudioFile‘s website.

It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War
Author Lynsey Addario uses her camera to capture images of beauty and light as well as despair, horror, and every other human emotion under the sun. Narrator Tavia Gilbert does the same with her voice, giving an authentic and thoughtful performance of this audiobook. As Addario recounts her experience of being held hostage, along with three reporters, by troops loyal to President Gaddafi in Libya, Gilbert brings the appropriate heart-pumping fear to the listener. It’s terrifying. It’s also a profoundly different experience for Addario–the men are beaten, but she is stroked and groped while being threatened with death. Addario’s story is fascinating as she tells of her unusual upbringing, early struggle to get assignments, raw emotion at being embedded in a dangerous culture, and abundant love for her husband and small child. Gilbert delivers it all in a thoroughly satisfying listening experience. A.B. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine [Published: APRIL 2015] 

Speaking of THE WIVES OF LOS ALAMOS . . .

I recently had the opportunity to interview the talented TaraShea Nesbit, author of THE WIVES OF LOS ALAMOS,  about the story and her writing process. She gives some wonderful insights into the origins of the book and her historical research of these women and their culture.


AudioFile Magazine Review of THE WIVES OF LOS ALAMOS

by TaraShea Nesbit
Read by Tavia Gilbert

Nesbit’s well-researched novel looking back to the years 1943-45 and the creation of the A-bomb is made even better by Tavia Gilbert’s energetic, upbeat narration. The author takes a risk by making her narrator a collective “we.” Having no individual character to connect to, the “we” proves distancing rather than inviting. However, thanks to Gilbert’s performance, relationships become clear. As the wives give up their lives and careers to follow their scientist husbands to the desert, Gilbert makes their sense of helplessness apparent. Moments of fun and growing camaraderie mingle with moments of snobbery, jealousy, boredom, and booze. Gilbert enlivens all the details–from the expectations for women of the era to the cataclysmic dropping of the bomb. S.J.H. © AudioFile 2014, Portland, Maine

Joyce Carol Oates’ Black Dahlia & White Rose

I’m so pleased to have been invited to narrate stories from Joyce Carol Oates‘ collection, Black Dahlia & White Rose, for Harper Audio (to be released on 9/11/12). Oates is a prolific and powerful writer, and I can’t wait to read her stories closely. One of the wonderful things about being both a writer and a voice actor is that, whether the work is beautifully written or not, I get to constantly learn the craft of writing while preparing and narrating books. When I do get an opportunity to work with stories that are thoughtfully crafted, resonant, and evocative, my understanding of writing deepens, and I am utterly inspired. There is reverence in the act of voicing beautiful language and the universal truths that are found in great work.

I’ve only glanced at the book so far while I finish other projects, but I saw in the first story (from which the collection is named) that Oates has made strong, bold choices about structure. This is exactly what I’ve been thinking about in my own work, so it’s exciting that this book has found its way to me now (or I’ve found my way to it?).

Except for Black Dahlia & White Rose, which will be multicast with all three of our voices, the stories in the collection are being divided between Coleen Marlo, Paul Michael Garcia, and myself. I wouldn’t want to miss any part of Oates’ writing, so I’ll be reading the collection, as well as some background about the Black Dahlia murder, to prepare for the recording.

Black Dahlia & White Rose: Stories