cover image Digging to America

Digging to America

Anne Tyler, , read by Blair Brown. . Random House Audio, $34.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-7393-3310-5

Blair Brown is one of those rare performers who can capture an author's voice to perfection. She's had plenty of practice performing audiobooks, including Linda Fairstein's Death Dance . Her vibrant reading of Digging manifests her outstanding talent as she moves lightly and briskly through the narrative, pausing ever so slightly before Tyler's clever punch lines for added effect. Brown makes this wry satire about the adoption of foreign babies so laugh-out-loud funny that standup comics could study her timing. Both adults and children are played to perfection. Brown's enactment of Iranian immigrant Maryam Yazdan and Ziba, her daughter-in-law, is amazing in her accurate reproduction of the soft and liquid Farsi vowels. In contrast, American-born Sami, Maryam's son, speaks like the prototypical Easterner. Brown remembers that the children of immigrants sound like their peers, not their parents. This hilarious audiobook actually improves a fine novel. Simultaneous release with the Knopf hardcover (Reviews, Feb. 27). (June)