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Summary

Audible narration by Samira Wiley (The Handmaid’s Tale).
From New York Times bestselling author Roxane Gay comes an unforgettable tale of nightmarish bureaucracy in which genetic profiling has redefined the “unfit mother.”

A trip to the library prompts one woman to question her fate in this galvanizing short story. For a woman like Hadley, deemed not acceptable to procreate, there’s only one recourse. Unlicensed for motherhood, she can alleviate her grief and frustration at a “baby library,” where a curiously endless supply of infants is available for a two-week loan. But the borrowed life that serves as a temporary balm leads to a journey of self-discovery that will forever change the direction of Hadley’s future.

Roxane Gay’s Graceful Burdens is part of Out of Line, an incisive collection of funny, enraging, and hopeful stories of women’s empowerment and escape. Each piece can be read or listened to in a single thought-provoking sitting.

©2020 Roxane Gay (P)2020 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What listeners say about Graceful Burdens

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they are going to be a good day at work and I will be a good day at work and I have a great time and place and place to stay home with a great time

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  • Valencia Williams
  • 05-03-21

Amazingly Unexpected

Such a hidden gem amongst a vast library! It’s easy to miss out on this as you never knew to look for it. The way Roxane builds such a strong world very quickly is a talent. She draws you with curiosity and keeps you there until the very last word. Great job!

1 person found this helpful

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  • escoocoo
  • 29-09-21

Good

Pretty good story. Very interesting premise, very science fiction. The narration was pretty straight forward, and the narrator did an okay job.

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  • obituary mambo
  • 08-01-21

Stunning!

I had no idea what to expect from this short story, but I love Roxane Gay, so I figured it would be worth a quick read. Absolutely amazing! The ability to build such a fully realized world in so few pages is truly a gift. The characters are well drawn and the story intriguing. Samira Wiley's narration is a thing of pure beauty. Absolutely fabulous!

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  • Constance
  • 29-10-20

handmaid's tale-esque

Samira Wiley..what a gem. Loved this short story! Margaret Atwood dystopia themed setting..wondering how far in the future this is..

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  • Elisabeth Carey
  • 25-10-20

A genetics-based dystopia

At an unstated point in the future, young adults are genetically screened to determine their suitability for reproduction. Those who are deemed genetically suitable, are licensed to reproduce. Those who don't, will never be allowed to have children. It's a judgment that determines the entire course of lives--especially women's lives.

Hadley is an unlicensed woman, working a poorly paid job and living in a meager apartment. She would say that she is glad to be unlicensed, with the greaater freedom that gives in some ways. Yet, she goes to the local public library, to an upper floor--and checks out a baby, a little girl named Gemma.

You may wonder where the children in the library come from; Hadley tries not to.

Serafina is a licensed woman, married to a man who is a perfect match genetically, and utterly boring in every other respect. She has two children, and she resents the burden. She live their care to the two nannies--until the day they leave for, they say, a five day vacation.

When the two nannies show up at Hadley's door, we're about to find out where the library babies come from, where they're bound for when they reach their third birthdays, and how women are fighting back.

It's an interesting look at a possible future dystopia, and resistance against it.

I received this audiobook as part of the Audible Originals program, and am reviewing it voluntarily.

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  • JBHarris
  • 06-09-20

Incredible

I want to know more! THIS WAS SO.GOOD! I LOVE ROXANNE GAY! Please write more!

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  • jen4choice
  • 05-09-20

A different kind of library you should CHECK OUT

If you’re a fan of “The Handmaid’s Tale” or “Brave New World,” you’ll enjoy this.

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  • SusanCooks
  • 03-09-20

A dystopian gem

Ms. Gay has a way with narrative, and does not disappoint in this consideration of a not-so-futuristic alternate reality wherein women’s reproductive rights are restricted in new and heartbreaking ways, and the underground efforts to right this wrong.