Download American Ghost: A Family's Haunted Past in the Desert Southwest Audiobook

American Ghost: A Familys Haunted Past in the Desert Southwest Audiobook, by Hannah Nordhaus Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Hannah Nordhaus Narrator: Xe Sands Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2015 ISBN: 9781494578169
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The dark-eyed woman in the long black gown was first seen in the 1970s standing near a fireplace. She was sad and translucent, present and absent at once. Strange things began to happen in the Santa Fe hotel where she was seen. Gas fireplaces turned off and on without anyone touching a switch. Glasses flew off shelves. And in one second-floor suite with a canopy bed and arched windows looking out to the mountains, guests reported alarming events: blankets ripped off while they slept, the room temperature plummeting, disembodied breathing, and dancing balls of light.

La Posada—"place of rest"—had been a grand Santa Fe home before it was converted to a hotel. The room with the canopy bed had belonged to Julia Schuster Staab, the wife of the home's original owner. She died in 1896, nearly a century before the hauntings were first reported. In American Ghost, Hannah Nordhaus traces the life, death, and unsettled afterlife of her great-great-grandmother, Julia, from her childhood in Germany to her years in the American West with her Jewish merchant husband. As she traces the strands of Julia's life, Nordhaus uncovers a larger tale of how a true-life story becomes a ghost story and how difficult it can sometimes be to separate history and myth. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • Perceptive, witty, and engaging, Nordhaus observes that 'it's not so much the ghost that keeps the dead alive. . . as it is the story' Publishers Weekly Starred Review
  • “Nordhaus approaches the legend of her great-great-grandmother’s ghost with the insight of an historian and the energy of an inspired detective. A fine tale well told.”

    Anne Hillerman, New York Times bestselling author of Spider Woman’s Daughter

  • “Expertly dissects fact from embroidery…A colorful and engrossing quest.”


  • “In this intriguing book, [Nordhaus] shares her journey to discover who her immigrant ancestor really was—and what strange alchemy made the idea of her linger long after she was gone.”


  • “The more Nordhaus digs into the history and explores the supernatural dimensions of the story, the more complex and intriguing it becomes. American Ghost is a multigenre work that succeeds on a number of levels.”

    Denver Post

  • “A unique collision of family history, Wild West adventure, and ghost story…Perceptive, witty, and engaging.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Part travelogue, part memoir, part ghost story, part history…The book’s unique blend of genres and its excellent writing make it hard to put down.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Riveting family history…Narrator Xe Sands exquisitely captures the author’s earnest interest in Julia and her family. Sands’ clear voice and refreshing cadences add an authenticity that listeners will find engaging… Sands’ presentation is smooth and straightforward. Her narration and the fascinating story itself will entertain listeners of all ages. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”


  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • An Elle Magazine Pick of 7 Must-Read Books

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About the Author

Hannah Nordhaus is the author of the national bestseller The Beekeeper’s Lament, which was a PEN Center USA and Colorado Book Award finalist. An award-winning journalist, Hannah has written for the Los Angeles Times, the Financial Times, the Village Voice, Outside magazine, and other publications. She lives with her family in Boulder, Colorado.

About the Narrator

Xe Sands has more than a decade of experience bringing stories to life through narration, performance, and visual art, including recordings of the Nightwalkers series from Jaquelyn Frank. She has received several honors, including AudioFile Earphones Awards and a coveted Audie Award, and she was named Favorite Debut Romance Narrator of 2011 in the Romance Audiobooks poll.