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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Voice Behind 600 Books


Milford Library, 57 New Haven Ave., is pleased to host a talk by Davina Porter, well-known Westport actor and recent inductee of the Narrator Hall of Fame, on Wednesday, April 18 at 2pm.

Porter has recorded more than 600 audiobooks. One of the founding narrators with Recorded Books, Porter has an impressive list of classics in her audiography.   Porter’s voice is surely one of the most elegant and refined in audiobooks, giving the Victorian classics fluid presentation. She's able to capture historical settings with splendid clarity and yet convey the harsh realities of the period. In her renditions of biographies of Catherine the Great, Empress Josephine, and Marie Antoinette, she engages listeners with the details and simultaneously projects the full context.

When talking about her work, Porter mentions her attention to historical detail. As a student of conventions and manners, she laughs at the anachronisms she encounters in some novels--sitting cross-legged on the floor in a hoop skirt, for example. She admires authors who do their homework, like Diana Gabaldon.  Porter's readings of the Outlander series, for which she uses her Scots heritage to flavor the dialects of dozens of characters, have many fans. And they're among her personal favorites. Gabaldon's lengthy novels require careful preparation. An initial reading, which Porter always does, is followed by preparation of a day's recording session, with careful anticipation of pages that may involve five or six Scots in a scene. She strives to bring each voice off the page and at the same time maintain a natural sense. A flexible voice, notes Porter, is essential for audiobook narrators, as is the ability to make quick changes and maintain a comfortable narrative level for long periods. She always seeks the author's intent, and with an author like Ruth Rendell care must be given to subtle, psychological clues. Her success with a range of mysteries by Rendell, Elizabeth George, Anne Perry, and M.C. Beaton is a testament to this perceptive approach.

This engaging, spirited talk is free and open to all.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018 2:00 PM thru 03:30 PM

 Milford Public Library

57 New Haven Ave.

Milford, CT 

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