Download Sunshine State: Essays Audiobook

Sunshine State: Essays Audiobook, by Sarah Gerard Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Sarah Gerard Narrator: Madeleine Maby Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2017 ISBN: 9780062681416
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Rising literary star and Los Angeles Times First Fiction Award finalist Sarah Gerard uses her experiences growing up along Florida’s gulf coast to illuminate the struggles of modern human survival—physical, emotional, environmental—through a collection of essays exploring intimacy, addiction, obsession, religion, homelessness, and incarceration. 

With the personal insight of The Empathy Exams, the societal exposal of Nickel and Dimed, and the stylistic innovation and intensity of her own break-out debut novel Binary Star, Sarah Gerard’s Sunshine State uses the intimately personal to unearth the deep reservoirs of humanity buried in the corners of our world often hardest to face. 

In the collection’s title essay, Gerard volunteers at the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary, a world renowned bird refuge. There she meets its founder, who once modeled with a pelican on his arm for a Dewar’s Scotch campaign but has since declined into a pit of fraud and madness. He becomes our embezzling protagonist whose tales about the birds he “rescues” never quite add up. Gerard’s personal stories are no less eerie or poignant: An essay that begins as a look at Gerard’s first relationship becomes a heart-wrenching exploration of acquaintance rape and consent. An account of intimate female friendship pivots midway through, morphing into a meditation on jealousy and class.

Sunshine State offers a unique look at Florida, a state whose economically and environmentally imperiled culture serves as a lens through which we can examine some of the most pressing issues haunting our nation.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A knockout.”

    New York Times

  • “Stunning.”

    Rolling Stone

  • “The interwoven mini stories are at once tender and cold, exhilarating and regrettable—each undermining the one that precedes it.”

    Paris Review

  • “[An] unflinchingly candid memoir bolstered by thoughtfully researched history.”


  • “Brave, keenly observational, and humanitarian…Gerard’s collection leaves an indelible impression.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Narrator Madeleine Maby has the rare gift of a light, strong voice, soft at the edges but very clear as she delivers topics that document the author’s evolving point of view from that of a child interested in religion to that of an adult interrogator of the way some people live…Maby inhabits the very personal space Gerard creates in her essays. Her pacing is unhurried but always consistent. Author and narrator are a powerful combination.”


  • Chicago Tribune Pick
  • Huffington Post Pick
  • Nylon Magazine Pick of the Month
  • LitHub Pick of 15 Books to Read This Month
  • Publishers Weekly Top 10 Book for Spring 2017

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About the Author

Sarah Gerard is the author of the novel Binary Star, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Award for First Fiction and named on the best book of the year lists for NPR, Vanity Fair, Buzzfeed, and Flavorwire. Her short stories, essays, interviews, and criticism have appeared in the New York Times, Paris Review Daily, Los Angeles Review of Books, Cut, Bomb, and other journals, as well as in anthologies for Joyland and the Saturday Evening Post. She writes a monthly column for Hazlitt and teaches writing in New York City.

About the Narrator

Madeleine Maby is a voice talent and AudioFile Earphones Award—winning narrator.