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Publisher's Summary

What happens when women step out of line and take control of their own stories? Big fears, small frustrations, and the power of hope collide as seven award-winning authors explore the possibilities. From demanding equal pay to resisting a genetically engineered future, this collection offers up visions that are grimly funny, deeply touching, and chillingly conceivable.

THIS TELLING, by Cheryl Strayed, read by Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars)

A genealogy test sparks a woman’s reflection on the two accounts of her life - the real one and the one she’s always told the world - in this poignant short story by the bestselling author of Wild.

GRACEFUL BURDENS, by Roxane Gay, read by Samira Wiley (The Handmaid’s Tale)

From the New York Times bestselling author of Bad Feminist comes an unforgettable tale of nightmarish bureaucracy in which genetic profiling has redefined the “unfit mother.”

SWEET VIRGINIA, by Caroline Kepnes, read by Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars)

What’s a woman to do when she fails to live up to feminine ideals? It depends on what she’s willing to give up in this dark rom-com dream by the bestselling author of You.

THE CONTRACTORS, by Lisa Ko, read by Lea Salonga (Aladdin)

A split-screen view of the tech industry’s underbelly - and the unifying campaign of two distant women seeking to expose their employer - from the award-winning author of The Leavers.

HALFWAY TO FREE, by Emma Donoghue, read by Samira Wiley (The Handmaid’s Tale)

Raising a family is the ultimate luxury as the human race teeters on the brink of extinction in this modern nightmare by Emma Donoghue, the bestselling author of Room.

BEAR WITNESS, by Mary Gaitskill, read by Margo Martindale (Mrs. America)

In the wake of a brutal crime, three people cross paths in this unflinching deconstruction of moral uncertainty, shifting perceptions, and sexual violence, from the critically acclaimed author of Bad Behavior.

SHINE, PAMELA! SHINE!, by Kate Atkinson, read by Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones)

Thoroughly divorced but ever the optimist, Pamela faces the realities of aging and the leaps of faith required to put a “sparkle” on her daily life in this small miracle of a short story by the bestselling author of Life After Life.

©2020 This Telling © 2020 by Cheryl Strayed. Graceful Burdens © 2020 by Roxane Gay. Sweet Virginia © 2020 by Caroline Kepnes. The Contractors © 2020 by Lisa Ko. Halfway to Free © 2020 by Emma Donoghue. Bear Witness © 2020 by Mary Gaitskill. Shine, Pamela! Shine! © 2020 by Kate Costello Ltd. (P)2020 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

“Six talented narrators deepen and enliven this diverse collection of stories about women asserting their freedom and demanding power over their lives - whether in the past, present, or future. Seven authors offer their own takes on a range of related themes, exploring feminism, choice, liberation, and reproductive justice…. Every narrator brings something unique to this thought-provoking and moving audiobook. Listening to the words of female authors brought to life by female voice actors makes for a powerful listening experience.” --Booklist

“Featuring prominent contemporary authors and a host of professional actors and performers as narrators, the collection is an intriguing exploration of female agency.” --AudioFile Magazine 

Editor's Pick

7 stories that are just so on point
Last year I was completely wowed by Amazon Original Stories' Forward Collection—a group of edgy sci-fi shorts from best-selling authors that perfectly tapped into my love of Black Mirror (the one by N.K. Jemisin went on to win the Hugo for the best novelette). So I was thrilled to learn that this year they've followed it up with a new collection that seems perfectly designed to appeal to my love of The Handmaid's Tale. Though not all dystopian, each of these seven stories—by such amazing authors as Emma Donoghue, Cheryl Strayed, Roxane Gay, and Caroline Kepnes—simmers with the anxiety inherent in being a woman in the world. —Emily C., Audible Editor

What listeners say about Out of Line

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Really disappointing

I usually don't write book reviews because I don't see the point. We either like something or we don't. Everyone has their own style and opinion of what they enjoy. However, I was really disappointed by this book. There are writers I enjoy that contributed and that is what made me interested. I probably should have read more reviews prior to my purchase, but was led by the writers that contributed. It is not at all what I thought it would be and the stories don't really excite me. I listened to 4 of the stories and I am done. That's about 4 hours that I will never get back. Lesson learned.

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Amazing!

Entrancing stories told In strong voices perfect for the narrators. Such fun to listen to again and again!