Featured Titles, In The Studio Hear Jon Hamm read Walt Whitman’s LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF JACK ENGLE

Hats off to Jon Hamm and Walt Whitman! Go behind-the scenes in the studio with Jon Hamm to hear about his experience recording Whitman’s long-lost work on audiobook.
Read by Jon Hamm


In 1852, young Walt Whitman—a down-on-his-luck housebuilder in Brooklyn—was hard at work writing two books. One would become one of the most famous volumes of poetry in American history, a free-verse revelation beloved the world over, Leaves of Grass. The other, a novel, would be published under a pseudonym and serialized in a newspaper. A short, rollicking story of orphanhood, avarice, and adventure in New York City, Life and Adventures of Jack Engle appeared to little fanfare.

Then it disappeared…

No one laid eyes on it until 2016, when literary scholar Zachary Turpin, University of Houston, followed a paper trail deep into the Library of Congress, where the sole surviving copy of Jack Engle has lain waiting for generations. Now, after more than 160 years, the University of Iowa Press is honored to reprint this lost work, restoring a missing piece of American literature by one of the world’s greatest authors, written as he verged on immortality.

Producer Sarah Jaffe

Producer Sarah Jaffe shares what it was like to work on this incredible audiobook—and how she selected critically acclaimed actor Jon Hamm as the narrator. Read her full Q&A here.

“The moment I took on this production, I knew Jack Engle needed a special reader, both to do justice to Whitman’s writing and also to bring a broad range of ears to his work…I knew Jack Engle needed a narrator who was a reader himself, someone with a classic storyteller’s voice, who could capture the humor, the poetry, and the Dickensian pulp factor; someone with a timeless sound and a nice balance of warmth and gravity. You can’t get much better than Jon Hamm for that blend.”—Producer Sarah Jaffe

Go behind-the-scenes in the studio with Jon Hamm in this video revealed by Parade.com:

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