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Years ago, my husband and I began our annual road trip to my parents’ house in Kentucky. I hit our audio book and Prentice Onayemi’s voice came over the speakers in our car. His voice immediately pulled me into the story and his performance perfectly conveyed the characters’ emotions. As soon as I got home, I checked Onayemi’s work and listened to a variety of audiobooks that he performed. So why not share love? Let me introduce you to Prentice Onayemi and the spectacular audiobooks he told.
See the dreamers by Imbolo Mbue
In the first novel I ever heard from Prentice Onayemi, Imbolo Mbue tells the story of Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in New York. Jende gets a job driving a wealthy businessman, Clark Edwards. That Mrs. Neni gets a job as a maid in one of Edwards’ estates. These new opportunities give Jende the hope that he will have enough money to hire a lawyer to help him obtain his residence permits to stay in the United States. But when the 2007 financial crisis began, Edwards ‘business was in jeopardy and Jendes’ hopes began to turn.
The Booty of the Gods by Nicky Drayden
In this wild story set in futuristic South Africa, a teenage boy finds himself in love with his best friend, a teenage girl discovers she has wings, and an ancient deity who takes time to seek revenge is on a job caught as a nail technician. Every chapter brings a new twist, whether it is about robots that become sentient or a politician who chooses the moonlight as a pop star. Onayemi’s appearance on The Prey of Gods proves he can keep up with Drayden’s fantastic storytelling and keep the audience on the edge of their seats wondering what is coming next.
Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom by David W. Blight
In this Pulitzer Prize-winning biography, David W. Blight records the life of Frederick Douglass, one of the most important African-Americans of the 19th century. This new biography follows Douglass from his life as an enslaved man on a plantation in Maryland to his work as an abolitionist. In his performance of Frederick Douglass, Onayemi keeps your attention for hundreds of pages of Douglass’ life.
The sale of Paul Beatty
In this satire, a young man is raised by a single father who conducts psychological experiments on his son. Through a series of events, the novel’s narrator restores slavery and is brought before the Supreme Court. Paul Beatty’s comic book skills shine through this story and earned him the Man Booker Prize. Onayemi won an Audie Award in 2016 for his performance.
Christodora by Tim Murphy, as told by Cassandra Campbell, Christa Lewis, Suzanne Elise Freeman, Prentice Onayemi, Thom Rivera, Kyla Garcia and Will Damron
This novel follows a series of characters who live in and around the Christodora, a building in lower east New York. We start with Milly and Jared, a couple who lived in the building when the AIDS crisis got the news. Over the decades, a wide range of characters offers us a range of perspectives, each uttered by a different narrator. Together, these characters tell the story of a neighborhood, with each of their stories connected and intertwined.
Suddenly strange together: America’s poets react to the pandemic Edited by Alice Quinn, narrated by Edoardo Ballerini, Gisela Chípe, Catherine Cohen, Michael Crouch, Catherine Ho, Hillary Huber, Nicole Lewis, Dani Martineck, Prentice Onayemi, Elisabeth Rodgers, Neil Shah , Shayna Small
In response to the pandemic, 107 poets are composing works that mourn lost loved ones, discuss the chaotic turmoil of the poor response by the American government, or survive the pandemic itself. From Jericho Brown to Julia Alvarez to Claudia Rankine, these talented writers are capturing this moment in history as only poets can. The cast of narrators is up to the challenge and plays each poem with intensity and depth of feeling.