America’s “most banned graphic novel”, “Gender Queer, adapted as audiobook

US audio drama producers Listening Library will release a full-cast audiobook production of Gender Queer: A Memoir next month, based on Maia Kobabe’s Alex Award-winning graphic memoir published by Oni Press.

Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe

Kobabe, who uses e/em/eir pronouns, started this comic to explain to eir family what it means to be nonbinary and asexual. Maia’s acclaimed graphic novel is both an intensely cathartic autobiography that charts eir journey of self-discovery, and a useful and touching guide on gender identity – what it means and how to think about it—for advocates, friends, and humans everywhere.

Although Gender Queer: A Memoir has been repeatedly cited as the most banned book in the United States in recent years, Kobabe has managed to be a positive and thoughtful advocate both for the human rights of trans and nonbinary people, and an active voice for the freedom of young people to have access to books and information.

“Audiobooks are my constant companions,” says Kobabe. “I regularly listen to between 20 and 30 audiobooks in a year, and they provide the soundtrack to my drawing, my driving, my chores, and my walks… It was a satisfying creative challenge to adapt such a visual work into audiobook format and I was inspired to write some new material in the process. It was a dream come true to record these words in my own voice, and I hope every reader who loves the print version of the book finds something new to enjoy in the audiobook.”

In addition to Kobabe reading as emself, the full-cast production includes eir sibling Phoebe Kobabe, André Santana, Jeremy Carlisle Parker, and Stephen Graybill. Actress Trini Alvarado, best known for her portrayal of Meg March in 1993’s Little Women, reads the role of Kobabe’s mother.

Maia Kobabe’s upcoming graphic novel with Dr. Sarah Peitzmeier, Breathe: Journeys to Healthy Binding

The audiobook edition of Maia Kobabe’s upcoming graphic novel with Dr. Sarah Peitzmeier, Breathe: Journeys to Healthy Binding will be published simultaneously by Listening Library, both titles due for release on 7th May.

Breathe arose from the need for a resource for folks considering chest binding as gender-affirming care. Dr. Peitzmeier interviewed twenty-five people of different ages and backgrounds about their journeys with binding, and then she and Kobabe combined excerpts from those interviews with evidence-based resources on binding into this extremely accessible guide.

Breathe is both a practical resource for trans and nonbinary folks and an engaging and perspective-broadening listen for anyone interested in what it means to be on a journey of expressing one’s gender in ways that are joyful, healthy, and affirming.

Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe, read by the author and a full cast | Buy it from AmazonUK (Affiliate Link) | Listening Library | Audio Download ISBN: 9780593909515 | Books on Tape | Library Audio Download ISBN: 9780593909522 | On Sale: May 7, 2024

BREATHE: Journeys to Healthy Binding by Maia Kobabe and Dr. Sarah Peitzmeier | Buy it from AmazonUK (Affiliate Link) | Listening Library | Audio Download ISBN: 9780593910856 | Books on Tape | Library Audio Download ISBN: 9780593910863 | On Sale: May 7, 2024

Maia Kobabe (e/eir/em) is author of the award-winning and bestselling memoir Gender Queer, the most banned book in America for the last two years. E and eir work have been featured in Time, NPR, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and many other outlets. Before setting out to work freelance full-time, e worked for over ten years in libraries. Eir work is heavily influenced by fairy tales, homesickness, and the search for identity.

The Secret Library Audiobook – Unabridged by 
Kekla Magoon narrated by  Nekia Martin (Listening Library, 2024)

Since publishing its first audiobook in 1955, Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days, Listening Library has grown into one of the biggest names in the youth audio industry, earning more than 500 ALSC and YALSA Audiobook Awards, 27 Odyssey Awards and Honors, 22 Audie® Awards, and two GRAMMY® Awards. Listening Library publishes bestselling authors like R.J. Palacio, Christopher Paolini, Nic Stone, Sabaa Tahir, and Jacqueline Woodson; beloved classics such as Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White, Matilda by Roald Dahl, and A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle; enduringly popular series like Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osborne; and dozens of Newbery and Printz award-winning authors including Christopher Paul Curtis, Kate DiCamillo, Tae Keller, Malinda Lo, and Daniel Nayeri.

Founded in 1997, Oni Press has a 25-year history as one of the industry’s most respected and acclaimed publishers of award-winning comic books and graphic novels with titles including Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim, K. O’Neill’s Tea Dragon Society, Cullen Bunn & Brian Hurtt’s The Sixth Gun, Maia Kobabe’s Gender Queer, Ezra Claytan Daniels’ Upgrade Soul, Brenna Thummler’s Sheetstrilogy, and many hundreds more. In 2019, Oni Press merged with Lion Forge Comics – the Eisner Award-winning independent comic book publisher founded by Academy Award-winning producer and entrepreneur David Steward II – to create one of the largest, independent libraries of comics content anywhere in media. The Oni-Lion Forge Publishing Group now exists as a publishing subsidiary of Steward’s diversified global media company, Polarity.

The Oni-Lion Forge Publishing Group publishes more than 60 original and licensed graphic novels annually, in addition to an extensive list of periodical comics.

Categories: Audio, Comics, Digital Media, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Other Worlds, US Comics

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1 reply

  1. John,
    Thanks for clueing us in on this.
    It’s not a book I was aware of and I like to read very different graphic novels.

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