Complete list of winners at http://www.theaudies.com
MANDELA: AN AUDIO HISTORY wins Audiobook of the Year
Neil Gaiman’s full cast production of THE GRAVEYARD BOOK wins for Distinguished Achievement in Production
May 28, 2015 – The Audio Publishers Association (APA) announced the winners of the 2015 Audie Awards® at its 20th Annual Audies Gala on May 28th at the New York Academy of Medicine in New York City. Often referred to as the “Oscars of spoken word entertainment,” the evening marks a gathering of authors, narrators and publishers excited to hear who will win the most prestigious awards in the United States honoring audiobooks.
The Award for Audiobook of the Year went to Mandela: An Audio History, published by Highbridge, a division of Recorded Books. The judges praised this work calling it “One of the most powerful, well produced, and affecting programs we’ve ever heard. This is a unique and important document, skillfully and painstakingly stitched together by the producer from rare archival recordings. Using actualities, including vintage newsreels and songs by Miriam Makeba, Mandela: An Audio History brings this turbulent period in South Africa’s history to vivid, heartrending life. Desmond Tutu and Mandela’s voices add intimacy and gravitas. This artistic summary left judges moved, admiring, and wishing for more. The publisher used the occasions of various Mandela milestone anniversaries, public radio exposure, and podcast audiences to bring new listeners to this unique program.”
The Distinguished Achievement in Production Award went to The Graveyard Book; by Neil Gaiman; narrated by Neil Gaiman, Derek Jacobi, Robert Madge, Clare Corbett, Miriam Margolyes, Andrew Scott, and Julian Rhind-Tutt; published by HarperAudio. “Listeners may be forgiven for referring to The Graveyard Book as The Graveyard Audiobook, as this full cast edition is simply unforgettable. Led by an all-star cast of British actors, including Sir Derek Jacobi as principal narrator, Robert Madge playing young Nobody Owens, and Miriam Margolyes in the role of Nobody’s ghostly adoptive mother, this stellar multi-voiced production of Neil Gaiman’s 2009 Newbery award-winning novel follows the adventures of a young boy who survived a murderous rampage on his family and is being pursued by the evil Man Jack. Renowned banjo player Béla Fleck’s evocative arrangement of “Danse Macabre” adds to the mood. Gaiman’s remarks, in which he explains the inspiration for the story, fittingly conclude this superlative production.”
Linda Lee, President of the APA, had this to say about tonight’s event, “It’s a delight to celebrate our industry accomplishments in this beautiful setting. As interest in audiobooks grows, we keep reaching new heights of production quality – clearly reflected in tonight’s nominees and winners!” Bestselling author Jack Gantos hosted this year’s Audie Awards® Gala, delighting the audience with his dry wit and amazing stories. Gantos is best known for his Joey Pigza stories, featuring a boy with ADHD, and the Rotten Ralph series, featuring a nasty-tempered red cat. Among his awards are the Newbery Award, the Newbery Honor, the Scott O’Dell Award, the Printz Honor, the Sibert Honor…and the honor of having good readers and listeners choose his books. Gantos said “I’m thrilled to host the Audies. Unlike when I’m in the recording studio, while on stage at the Audies Gala I can wear a watch, have my stomach growl, jiggle pocket change, trip over my own tongue, laugh at my own jokes, completely screw up my lines and not have to worry about repeating myself–again and again. It is an honor to be a part of recognizing all the incredible audio talent in the industry who do the hard work of controlling themselves in the studio every single day.”
A Special Achievement Award was presented posthumously to Edward Herrmann, a renowned actor and much-lauded audiobook narrator who was universally respected. Herrmann once told AudioFile magazine that he loved hearing stories while growing up, and seeing how they stirred the imagination of the listener. “I love the spoken word. I love hearing it. The way the words can seduce you.” In his narration, Ed was always attuned to the music of a sentence, seeing his role as “reading a story to someone, not narrating.” And this connection shone through all of his recordings; Ed trusted the text implicitly, and let it speak through him. The Audio Publishers Association mourns the loss of the man, but is grateful for his legacy of wonderful recordings.