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The Floating World: A Novel Audiobook, by C. Morgan Babst Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: C. Morgan Babst Narrator: Christa Lewis Publisher: Highbridge Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2017 ISBN: 9781681688329
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A dazzling debut about family, home, and grief, The Floating World takes readers into the heart of Hurricane Katrina with the story of the Boisdorés, whose roots stretch back nearly to the foundation of New Orleans. Though the storm is fast approaching the Louisiana coast, Cora, the family’s fragile elder daughter, refuses to leave the city, forcing her parents, Joe Boisdoré, an artist descended from a freed slave who became one of the city’s preeminent furniture makers, and his white “Uptown” wife, Dr. Tess Eshleman, to evacuate without her, setting off a chain of events that leaves their marriage in shambles and Cora catatonic—the victim or perpetrator of some violence mysterious even to herself.

This mystery is at the center of C. Morgan Babst’s haunting, lyrical novel. Cora’s sister, Del, returns to New Orleans from the life she has tried to build in New York City to find her hometown in ruins and her family deeply alienated from one another. As Del attempts to figure out what happened to her sister, she must also reckon with the racial history of the city, and the trauma of destruction that was not, in fact, some random act of God, but an avoidable tragedy visited upon New Orleans’s most helpless and forgotten citizens.

The Floating World is the Katrina story that needed to be told—one with a piercing, unforgettable loveliness and a nuanced understanding of this particular place and its tangled past, written by a New Orleans native who herself says that after Katrina, “if you were blind, suddenly you saw.”

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Powerful . . . Babst is most effective at conveying the emotional weight of the tragedy when she presents it alongside vibrant characters and story lines. One of the most vibrant is the family patriarch, Vincent, whom Babst brings to life in a portrayal that’s impressively unrestrained, even Faulknerian.”

    The New York Times Book Review

  • “This is a spot-on examination of race and the tumult natural disasters leave in their wake.”

    Marie Claire

  • “This powerful family drama (with a mystery at its core) promises to be an emotional read. A dazzling debut about family, home, and grief, The Floating World takes readers into the heart of Hurricane Katrina with the story of the Boisdorés, whose roots stretch back nearly to the foundation of New Orleans.”

    Paste Magazine

  • “Set in New Orleans, this important and powerful novel follows the Boisdoré family . . . in the months after Katrina. A profound, moving and authentically detailed picture of the storm’s emotional impact on those who lived through it.”

    People

  • “C. Morgan Babst’s portrait of a troubled New Orleans family that fractures further during and after Hurricane Katrina is poetic and suspenseful . . . an ambitious novel.”

    NPR.org

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About the Narrator

Christa Lewis, winner of several AudioFile Earphones Awards, is a classically trained actress and a graduate of Boston University’s four-year conservatory training program. She has worked full time at the microphone since getting her start as a newsreader for an international news broadcaster and now narrates audiobooks full time.