“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
|Publisher:||Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
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. Her articles have appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Times, the Smart Set, and the Utne Reader. She lives in New York City.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Very slow starting strange
Outstanding first novel! Possessing experience as a transcriptionist herself, Amy Rowland has the "inside skinny" that makes this book realistic. The characters are well-drawn, and the story is moving but not predictable. We learn about what transcriptionists do, how working in the news media affects the workers' morale, and how things turn out for Lena. There is just enough suspense to keep you guessing, yet it's not a contrived story, but rather one that will wrap itself around your heart. I hope this is just the first of many novels to come, from Ms. Rowland!