Overlooked: A Celebration of Remarkable, Underappreciated People Who Broke the Rules and Changed the World

Books on Tape. Nov. 2023. 10:33 hrs. ISBN 9780593823163. $85. BIOG
Since 1851, the New York Times has written thousands of obituaries for world leaders, celebrities, icons, and more. Until relatively recently, however, the Times’s obituaries have often overlooked notable people—especially women, people of color, LGBTQIA+ people, and people with disabilities. In 2018, the paper initiated the “Overlooked” series in the obituary section, hoping to rectify these omissions by publishing late obituaries for individuals who should have been honored at the time of their death for their astonishing and out-of-the-ordinary lives. Many of these obituaries are included in this volume; they are joined by new, exclusive additions and commentary about writing obituaries and conducting genealogical investigations. Some of the lives documented here are luminaries such as Alan Turing and Sylvia Plath. Other lesser known but equally important individuals include Bessie Stringfield, known as the Motorcycle Queen of Miami; Katherine McHale Slaughterback, a.k.a. “Rattlesnake Kate”; Regina Jonas, the first ordained woman rabbi; and Turkey’s first rockstar, Zeki Müren. Obituary editor Padnani, who narrates the introduction, is joined by narrator January LaVoy, who offers warm and engaging performances of these remembrances, allowing listeners to appreciate their accomplishments, personalities, and legacies.
VERDICT An endlessly fascinating look into the lives of extraordinary individuals, this audiobook is a treat.
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