Other People’s Words By Lissa Soep

  • Narrated by: Lissa Soep
  • Length: 5 hrs and 12 mins
  • Release date: 04-16-24

Other People’s Words By Lissa Soep AudioBook summary

An illuminating, intricately woven memoir about friendships, loss, and language—a stunning affirmation of the conversations that shape and sustain us, even in the presence of death

Lissa Soep lost two friends in quick succession. Christine died slowly, from a mysterious illness, while Jonnie died suddenly, too young. In the ten years since, Soep has found herself among those left behind—spouses, lovers, family, friends—whose grief could have rendered them silent, at a loss for words. Instead, she has discovered the opposite: a wild and inexhaustible dialogue unleashed by their absence.

Other People’s Words is an incandescent tribute to deep friendship, honoring this lasting bond that has no special name and showing us how we can both cherish and grieve our loved ones through the words that have described and defined our lifetimes. Soep traces intimacy and longing through everyday conversations, in fragments of text messages, letters, postcards, emails, poems, voicemails. Inspired by the Russian philosopher Mikhail Bakhtin’s idea that our language is “overflowing with other people’s words,” Soep realizes that her friends’ words, remembered and imagined, are portals to other times and places, to other versions of ourselves and the ones we love. Dialogues do not end when a relationship or person is gone; they accrue new layers of meaning, continuing to echo, speak, and guide us forward.



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