Now that you have loaded up the Subaru for adventure or for transport to  the beach,  wouldn’t it be great to have a lesbian novel in the car’s CD player instead of listening to the traffic report every ten minutes?  Or after a day staring at your Mac, wouldn’t it be lovely to rest your eyes and enjoy an audio performance?

As noted in previous columns, until now, audios by and for lesbians have not been much of an option. Now, however, Dog Ear Audio has released two lesbian novels: The Gift of Time by Robin Alexander and Above All, Honorby Radclyffe, both performed by Karen Anton.   All of their audios are unabridged recordings of the novels.  Audio samples of  published CDs are available at www.dogearaudio.com.

Above All, Honor is the first of Radclyffe’s “Honor” series.  A cat-and-mouse game between Blair (daughter of the sitting President) and Cameron (Secret Service agent in charge of Blair’s protection) creates a suspenseful atmosphere as Blair tries to elude protection.  That both are lesbians adds an edgy romantic subplot.  Anton performs this work with an intensity that captures Blair’s and Cameron’s strength, pride, and intelligence.  Her reading is also nicely paced for this fast-moving novel.

The Gift of Time is a time-travel romantic fantasy, in which Leah and Reagan are transported to the Edwardian Era courtesy of a snow globe the latter has sold to Leah.  The two women discover that they were involved in the past and must resolve that relationship in order to live their current life fully.  Though I wanted to shriek “Holy Shirley Maclaine!”  at the beginning, I was caught up in the drama.  Anton captures Leah’s self-deprecating manner and wit and demonstrates lyric dexterity.

The high quality of the audio books reflect the dedication of the women at Dog Ear, which began as an off-shoot of a video production company called Zoom’n Dog Productions in Guffey, CO, which already owned the sound equipment.  As Karen Wolfer, Dog Ear’s President and Owner, told me,  “The stats on audio books shows an increase yearly on the number of people listening to the spoken word.” However, producing audios is not always financially feasible for lesbian book publishers who cannot invest huge sums of money in equipment or a risky business venture with one of the large audio producers, who might require the publisher to put up the capital.  Dog Ear was able to come to terms with publishers so that books could be recorded to bring a new and different audience to lesbian genre novels.  Among them are visually disabled “readers” such as myself who have limited access to lesbian books and magazines.

With the forthcoming release The Middle of Somewhere, written and performed by Clifford Henderson, and Land of Entrapment, written and read by Andi Marquette, listeners can look forward to a steady stream of excellence in lesbian recordings of the written word.

Above All, Honor, by Radclyffe, read by Karen Anton, 6 disks, unabridged, $24.95.

Gift of Time by Robin Alexander, read by Karen Anton, 6 disks, unabridged, $24.95

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Karla Jay, Ph.d. is Distinguished Professor of English and Women’s & Gender Studies at Pace University. She is addicted to audios.


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