I Keep My Exoskeletons to Myself: A Novel Audiobook, by Marisa Crane Play Audiobook Sample

I Keep My Exoskeletons to Myself: A Novel Audiobook

I Keep My Exoskeletons to Myself: A Novel Audiobook, by Marisa Crane Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: Bailey Carr Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 5.67 hours at 1.5x Speed 4.25 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: January 2023 Format: Unabridged Audiobook ISBN: 9798212236898

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

62:38 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

38:57 minutes

Average Chapter Length:

56:39 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:


Publisher Description

Dept. of Speculation meets Black Mirror in this lyrical, speculative debut about a queer mother raising her daughter in an unjust surveillance state

In a United States not so unlike our own, the Department of Balance has adopted a radical new form of law enforcement: rather than incarceration, wrongdoers are given a second (and sometimes, third, fourth, and fifth) shadow as a reminder of their crime—and a warning to those they encounter. Within the Department, corruption and prejudice run rampant, giving rise to an underclass of so-called Shadesters who are disenfranchised, publicly shamed, and deprived of civil rights protections.

Kris is a Shadester and a new mother to a baby born with a second shadow of her own. Grieving the loss of her wife and thoroughly unprepared for the reality of raising a child alone, Kris teeters on the edge of collapse, fumbling in a daze of alcohol, shame, and self-loathing. Yet as the kid grows, Kris finds her footing, raising a child whose irrepressible spark cannot be dampened by the harsh realities of the world. She can’t forget her wife, but with time, she can make a new life for herself and the kid, supported by a community of fellow misfits who defy the Department to lift one another up in solidarity and hope.

With a first-person register reminiscent of the fierce self-disclosure of Sheila Heti and the poetic precision of Ocean Vuong, I Keep My Exoskeletons to Myself is a bold debut novel that examines the long shadow of grief, the hard work of parenting, and the power of queer resistance.

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“Bailey Carr gently narrates this dystopian audiobook…[and] voices Kris’s grief with realism and depth…Carr’s voice for Kris’s daughter is adorably youthful and strong…These characters will resonate with listeners.”

— AudioFile 


  • “Offers a fresh peek at our dystopian future.”

    — Ms. Magazine
  • “The novel stands out in its poetic reporting on the everyday experience of living under incessant observation and enforcement.”

    — Chicago Review of Books
  • “A not-so-cautionary tale about America’s poor treatment of marginalized people and how it would take little for the country to tip over into fascism.’

    — Locus
  • "The creation of family, criminalization, and queer resistance. Readers will be moved and electrified.”

    — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
  • “On the surface, it’s all explosive force; underneath, it’s introspective and intimate.”

    — BookPage (starred review)
  • "A soft yet fierce narrative of queer resistance and abolitionist feeling.”

    — Booklist
  • “Skillfully probes the complexities of loss, love, and injustice…[and] convincingly leans toward hope…An anthem for queer love and solidarity that rises above the dystopian cacophony.”

    — Kirkus Reviews
  • “Phenomenal.”

    — Daily Kos
  • “Crane’s blend of grief, humor, and imagination is fearless.”

    — Megan Giddings, author of The Women Could Fly
  • “A masterpiece: mordantly funny, brilliantly queer, large-hearted.”

    — Alex Marzano-Lesnevich, author of The Fact of a Body
  • “Kris is an unforgettable guide through the novel’s speculative world, at once hilarious and heart-sick.”

    — Laura van den Berg, author of I Hold a Wolf by the Ears 
  • “As innovative as it is boldly honest…Offers us a speculative world that refracts, mirrors, and expands our own.”

    — Carolina De Robertis, author of The President and the Frog
  • “Crane’s sharp and funny dystopian novel explores how easy it is to become our worst selves and how hard it is to recover from life-changing mistakes.”

    — Isle McElroy, author of The Atmospherians


  • An Indie Next Recommendation
  • An Independent Book Review Pick of Upcoming Books
  • An LGBTQ Reads Pick of Most Anticipated Adult Fiction of 2023 
  • An Electric Literature of Most Anticipated LGBTQ Books for Spring
  • A Philadelphia Inquirer Pick of Top January Books
  • A Chicago Review of Books Pick of the Month's Must-Read Books
  • A Goodreads Pick of the Most Buzziest Debut Novels of the New Year
  • A Literary Hub Pick of New Books at Your Local Indie Book Store
  • A Den of Geek Pick of the Month's New SciFi Books
  • A BuzzFeed Books Pick of Best Books Out This Week
  • A New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice of the Week

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About Marisa Crane

Marisa Crane is a writer, basketball player, and sweatpants enthusiast. Their work has appeared in Joyland, No Tokens, TriQuarterly, Passages North, Florida Review, Catapult, Lit Hub, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. An attendee of the Tin House Workshop and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, they currently live in San Diego with their wife and child.

About Bailey Carr

Bailey Carr is a New York City–based audiobook narrator. She graduated with a BFA in acting from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Bailey has narrated audiobooks for multiple New York Times bestselling authors.