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Talk to Me: Listening Between the Lines

by Smith, Anna Deavere

  • ISBN: 9780375501500
  • ISBN10: 0375501509

Talk to Me: Listening Between the Lines

by Smith, Anna Deavere

  • List Price: $24.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Random House Trade
  • Publish date: 01/01/2001
  • ISBN: 9780375501500
  • ISBN10: 0375501509
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Description: In 1995, as part of her "On the Road: A Search for American Character" project, Anna Deavere Smith went to Washington in an attempt to gain access to the world of and around the Presidency. In a place where the true meaning of words and messages are constantly questioned, Smith, a Pulitzer-nominated playwright, saw an opportunity to explore the link between speech and identity. Her goal was nothing less than to seek truth about American identity at the center of political power in our country: both a highly ambitious undertaking and a difficult one in the city where spin is the order of business. She has distilled her five years of investigation into a brilliant work that, despite the difficulty of her subject, offers original and explosive insights onto American character.

Smith's interview technique, and one that she has elevated into an artform, is to use a tape recorder and then create verbatim transcripts that include every utterance her speakers make. It is a method that allows Smith to inhabit her subjects, recreating not just what they say but how they say it, and revealing a dimension of nuance and meaning that traditional interviews cannot capture. The results of her work with presidents, politicians, and the media are extraordinarily telling.

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