The Transcriptionist

The Transcriptionist

A Novel

Book - 2015 | First paperback edition
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Once, there were many transcriptionists at the Record, a behemoth New York City newspaper, but new technology and the ease of communication has put most of them out of work. So now Lena, the last transcriptionist, sits alone in a room--a human conduit, silently turning reporters' recorded stories into print--until the day she encounters a story so shocking that it shatters the reverie that has become her life.
Publisher: Chapel Hill, North Carolina : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2015
Edition: First paperback edition
ISBN: 9781616204501
1616204508
Branch Call Number: DPB FICTION ROWLAND
Characteristics: 257 pages ; 21 cm

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Jodi13
Dec 30, 2016

Painful to read.

diesellibrarian Sep 02, 2014

This starts out as a promising story about the last remaining transcriptionist at a fictional daily newspaper in New York. Lena, the protagonist, accepts the clerical job as an antidote to the overwhelming pressure of grad school. She spends her days transcribing stories and interviews phoned in by reporters in the field. Things start to unravel for Lena when she becomes obsessed with a the story of a blind woman who feeds herself to the lions at the metro zoo. From here, the story devolves, becoming very self-conscious and overly didactic. Towards the end, it reads like an MFA thesis in Creative Writing. The tropes are heavy-handed, and the crux of the narrative feels contrived. Overall, the writing is good, but this book is not the "masterpiece" I was expecting.

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