A Suggestion for EGOT Hopefuls: Narrate an Audiobook

AudiobookerLin Manuel-Miranda was so close. Had Moana only won an Oscar for Best Original Song, he might have completed an EGOT, the acronym earned by those who’ve won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony. Too bad he couldn’t score an Oscar for his mad audiobook skills – just check out his Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, Hamilton or The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Just 22 people have gotten as far as him. On Sunday, Viola Davis joined their ranks when she won an Oscar for best supporting actress and became the first African American to do so.

This set the audiobook world abuzz. Davis could get an EGOT with a spoken word Grammy–no musical performance necessary. Davis is no stranger to audiobooks. She narrated Blind Faith: The Miraculous Journey of Lula Hardaway, Stevie Wonder’s Mother. Stevie Wonder is, of course, one of biggest Grammy winners of all time. Coincidence? I think not!

Come on, audiobook producers: you know who to cast.

Come on, audiobook producers: you know who to cast.

Narrating an audiobook might be just the ticket for the 13 living actors who need only a Grammy to hit all four EGOT bases. In fact, six other EOTs (Ellen Burstyn, Jeremy Irons, Frances McDormand, Helen Mirren, Christopher Plummer, and Vanessa Redgrave) have experience narrating audiobooks. The rest—Jessica Lange, Liza Minnelli, Al Pacino, Geoffrey Rush, Maggie Smith, and Tony Walton—seem like they would make great narrators.

Will there be a mad rush when audiobook publishers realize the marketing genius in picking the right book for any of these EGOT hopefuls? Or will a producer create the most awesome full-cast audiobook of all time by using every single EOT winner, setting them up to win Gs all at once?

Let the bidding wars begin!

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About the Author:

Mary Burkey is an independent library consultant in Columbus (OH). An enthusiastic audiophile, she has served on all four of ALA's audiobook award committees as well as the Audies. In addition to writing the "Voices in My Head" column for Booklist, she is the author of Audiobooks for Youth: A Practical Guide to Sound Literature (ALA, 2013). Follow her on Twitter at @mburkey.

2 Comments on "A Suggestion for EGOT Hopefuls: Narrate an Audiobook"

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  1. susan.snyder@willistonschools.org' Susan says:

    “On Sunday, Viola Davis … became the first African American to do so” is incorrect: Hattie McDaniel was the first African American actress to win an Oscar for a supporting role–1939, Gone With The Wind.

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