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"Some of my favorite books that I have done recently are WOLF WINTER, by Cecilia Ekback, beautiful writing, it's comes out in May. Two others, AN OWL ON EVERY POST and WHOSE NAMES ARE UNKNOWN by Sanora Babb, I found to be extraordinary. Maybe two of the best I have ever recorded. Honestly I can't recommend them enough, not for my recording, but for Sanora Babb, the books and her story as a writer are remarkable. ~2015
A young actress who always makes time for audiobooks in her acting life, Alyssa Bresnahan is a new addition to AudioFile's Golden Voices. Whether the work is contemporary fiction or young adult literature, Alyssa Bresnahan's performances sing with a vibrancy reflecting her keen understanding of the text. For the seven years she has been working in audiobooks, she has delivered some difficult works, like Carol Shields's Pulitzer Prize-winning THE STONE DIARIES , with consummate skill. She can tease out textual nuances and give listeners a clear window to the author's vision.
In preparing to record a book, Alyssa tries to understand the rhythm of each author. Using an analogy that reflects her dancer's training, she says, "I want to figure out the choreography of each author's sound." Recorded Books producer Claudia Howard remarks on Alyssa's success with young adult titles. "She has a great comedic sense and an ability to convey a wide-eyed discovery of the world that just connects with that audience." Narrating the recent recording of WHITE OLEANDER , Alyssa marveled at author Janet Fitch's ability to paint a whole picture with one sentence. Alyssa sees herself—her voice—as a paintbrush delivering a picture to the listener. Good writing always gives the narrator more to work with, but Alyssa notes a paradox: "The better the writing is, the more you can leave it alone."—December 1999
December 2006: Alyssa added another to her Laurie R. King titles, THE ART OF DETECTION . Characters from two of the author's series meet within the story, so Robert Ian Mackenzie shares the credits. Alyssa also continued with the YA fantasy series by John Dickinson with THE WIDOW AND THE KING , and the next in Charlaine Harris's series of supernatural mysteries, GRAVE SURPRISE. She is in New York City once more, and we hope to hear a new crop of audios from her soon.
December 2005: CALIFIA'S DAUGHTERS. WINTER HOUSE by Carol O'Connor was also a great showcase of her skills. In January, Alyssa will star in O'Neill's "A Moon for the Misbegotten" at the Hartford Stage.
December 2004: Turning in her usual “memorable performance,” Alyssa has treated listeners this year to Katherine Paterson’s THE SAME STUFF AS STARS , which joins a string of recent children’s and young adult title readings, such as THE PRESENCE by Eve Bunting, THE SILVER CROWN by Robert O’Brien, and WALK SOFTLY, RACHEL by Kate Banks. We have missed hearing Alyssa read psychological thrillers and hope some may be on the horizon for her audiobook fans.
December 2003: Alyssa has treated listeners to gritty, psychological thrillers presented with cool command; among them this year, TOUCHING EVIL and COLD BLOODED . The latest is Carol O’Connor’s DEAD FAMOUS . Her recording of THE LOVELY BONES continues to be a top choice for listening. Between audiobooks, Alyssa was in the Off Broadway run of Eve Ensler’s Necessary Targets, and appeared in Chicago in The Rose Tattoo by Tennessee Williams.
December 2002: Returning to audiobook work in 2002, Alyssa treated listeners to readings of THE LOVELY BONES and THE AGE OF INNOCENCE . Upcoming in 2003, she says, is GRAMERCY PARK , a first novel by Paula Cohen, "a great Victorian story with descriptions of New York City that touch the heart."
December 2001: Alyssa's engagment with the English tour of TANTALUS took her away from audiobooks for much of 2001. She did record her fourth title in Laurie King's Kate Martinelli series, NIGHT WORK which is included above in Alyssa's audiography. In young adult titles, Alyssa recorded WHAT JANIE FOUND by Carolyn Cooney and ELLA IN BLOOM by Shelby Hearon. In late 2001, Alyssa had just begun work on Eve Ensler's new play, NECESSARY TARGETS. We hope we'll hear more from Alyssa in 2002.
December 2000: Alyssa is just completing a six-month engagement in Denver as a principal actress in the Royal Shakespeare Company's world premier of TANTALUS, an epic drama—a 10-hour performance—based on the Trojan War. Audiobooks were on Alyssa's mind before heading west, so she completed a half-dozen books before leaving New York. They included DARKNESS PEERING , CRIME IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD , and NIGHT WORK , the newest Kate Martinelli mystery by Laurie King. She balanced these suspense titles with some young adult titles, JUST ELLA , DON'T DIE MY LOVE , and Alyssa's particular favorite, NOWHERE TO CALL HOME . Several of these are reviewed in this issue, in addition to Earphones-winner Olivia Goldsmith's YOUNG WIVES . Alyssa looks forward to her return to regular narrating and the simplicity of an audiobook production.
Photo courtesy of the narrator
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