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Download Mary Coin Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Mary Coin, by Marisa Silver Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Marisa Silver Narrator: Mark Zeisler, Eva Kaminsky, Alison Fraser, Mark Sisle Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In her first novel since The God of War, critically acclaimed author Marisa Silver takes Dorothea Lange’s “Migrant Mother” photograph as inspiration for a breathtaking reinvention—a story of two women, one famous and one forgotten, and of the remarkable legacy of their singular encounter.

In 1936, a young mother resting by the side of a road in central California is spontaneously photographed by a woman documenting the migrant laborers who have taken to America’s farms in search of work. Little personal information is exchanged and neither has any way of knowing that their chance encounter has produced the most iconic image of the Great Depression.

Three vibrant characters anchor the narrative of Mary Coin: Mary, the migrant mother herself, who emerges as a woman of deep courage, private passions, and carefully guarded secrets; Vera Dare, the ambitious photographer who chooses to leave her children in order to pursue her creative work; and Walker Dodge, a present-day professor of cultural history who discovers a family mystery embedded in the picture. 

In luminous, exquisitely observed prose, Silver creates an extraordinary tale from a brief moment in history that explores meaning behind memory and identity. Though a great photograph can capture the essence of a moment, in the end, the image only scratches the surface of the truth.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Mary Coin is quite simply one of the best novels I have read in years…Silver’s wisdom is rare, and her novel is the work of a master.”

    Ben Fountain, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Marisa Silver renders the soul of an iconic image, giving it moving life. Mary Coin is a soaring work of imagination, dedication, and history.”

    Mona Simpson, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Silver is one of those preternaturally gifted writers who can, with the lightest of touches, make the reader enter a world that feels as fully real as the one around us.”

    Meghan O’Rourke, award–winning author

  • “Provocative…Silver writes beautifully and has meticulously researched her historical details, making for an informative, addictive book whose Depression-era narrative feels particularly relevant in today’s recessionary times.”

    People (four stars)

  • “Marisa Silver’s transfixing new novel…[is] a raw and emotional tale that leaves readers with a lingering question: Do photographs illuminate or blur the truth?”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “Silver is the right writer for [this] story. She’s a fine, delicate stylist, with an aphoristic style that fills even simple moments with meaning.”

    USA Today

  • “Silver is an evocative, precise writer.”


  • “Silver’s story is artful…This novel is simply not to be missed.”

    Historical Novels Review

  • “Gorgeous…With writing that is sensual and rich, [Silver] shines a light on the parts of personal history not shared and stops time without destroying the moment.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “[A] superb new novel…Silver has crafted a highly imaginative story that grabs the reader and won’t let go.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “The luminously written, heart-wrenching—yet never maudlin—plot moves back and forth through time, as history professor Walker Dodge unpeels the layers of the photograph’s hidden truths.”


  • Selected for the March 2013 Indie Next List
  • A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2013 for Fiction
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