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Sunshine State – Sarah Gerard

Download Sunshine State ebook. Longlisted for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay

A New York Times Critics’ Best Books of the Year • An NPR Best Book of the Year • A NYLON Best Nonfiction Book of the Year • A Buzzfeed Best Nonfiction Book of the Year • An Entrophy Magazine Best Non-Fiction Book of the Year • A Brooklyn Rail Best Non-Fiction Book of the Year • A Baltimore Beat Best Book of the Year

A Paris Review Staff Pick • A Chicago Tribune Exciting Book for 2017 • A Rolling Stone Culture Index Reccomendation • A Buzzfeed Most Exciting Book for 2017 • A The Millions Great 2017 Book Preview Pick • A Huffington Post 2017 Preview Pick • A NYLON Best 10 Books of the Month • A Lit Hub 15 Books to Read This Month A Poets & Writers New and Noteworth Selection • A PW Top 10 Spring Pick in Essays & Literary Criticism • An Emma Straub Reccomendation on PBS

“One of the themes of ‘Sunshine State,’ Sarah Gerard’s striking book of essays, is how Florida can unmoor you and make you reach for shoddy, off-the-shelf solutions to your psychic unease…. The first essay is a knockout, a lurid red heart wrapped in barbed wire…. This essay draws blood.” — Dwight Garner, New York Times

“Unflinchingly candid memoir bolstered by thoughtfully researched history…. A nuanced and subtly intimate mosaic… her writing, lucid yet atmospheric, takes on a timeless ebb and flow.” — Jason Heller, NPR.org

“Stunning.” — Rolling Stone

“These large-hearted, meticulous essays offer an uncanny x-ray of our national psyche… showing us both the grand beauty of our American dreams and the heartbreaking devastation they wreak.” — Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You

Sarah Gerard follows her breakout novel, Binary Star, with the dynamic essay collection Sunshine State, which explores Florida as a microcosm of the most pressing economic and environmental perils haunting our society.

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.

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.

Editorial Reviews

“One of the themes of ‘Sunshine State,’ Sarah Gerard’s striking book of essays, is how Florida can unmoor you and make you reach for shoddy, off-the-shelf solutions to your psychic unease…. The first essay is a knockout, a lurid red heart wrapped in barbed wire…. This essay draws blood.” (Dwight Garner, New York Times)

“Stunning.” (Rolling Stone)

“These large-hearted, meticulous essays offer an uncanny x-ray of our national psyche, examining that American mess of saints and conmen, the peculiar, culpable innocence that American mess of saints and conmen, the peculiar, culpable innocence that confuses money and moral worth, charity and personal aggrandizement. Gerard’s prose is lacerating and compassionate at once, showing us both the grand beauty of our American dreams and the heartbreaking devastation they wreak.” (Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You)

“To read Sunshine State… is to fall into something like a trance. Gerard’s writing transports completely, thanks both to the eerie, atmospheric prose itself and to her thorough investigative journalism; each essay carries the reader to a seemingly foreign world…. There are cogent analyses of legislation, activists, and aesthetics, always grounded by Gerard’s connection to her subjects, always led by her distinct voice…. In Gerard’s capable hands Florida becomes not so much a geographical state but a state of being, something which can leave an indelible mark on those who call it home.” (Buzzfeed)

“Gerard’s prose is unlabored, flatly observational, and the interwoven mini stories are at once tender and cold, exhilarating and regrettable—each undermining the one that precedes it.” (Nicole Rudick, Paris Review)

“Gerard’s writing has been described as ‘unflinching,’ but perhaps the better terms are ‘generous’ and ‘patient.’ Her patience is what gets her close enough to her subjects that she can round them out, exhibit their complexities, and her generosity is what keeps her from mocking them…. [The essays] work together to subvert the most common tropes about Florida’s antic madness. Instead they focus on humanizing the state’s inhabitants—inhabitants with hopes and dreams, who cope with systemic and visceral issues… who would ordinarily be flattened into condescending headlines.” (Nick Moran, The Millions)

“Sunshine State, embodies Florida’s unpredictability in the best sense. The essays are structurally intricate and ultraprecise in their depictions of both the physical and human worlds. Always intimate and never insular, they span a wide range of subjects—some trace the personal roots of family histories and youth and lost friendships, while others look outward to environmental conservation, religion, and homelessness.” (Laura van den Berg, BOMB)

“The distinct nature of Florida and its undeniable, magnetic weirdness shines through somewhere in each essay. Yet, despite its title, that enigma of a state isn’t the focus. Gerard takes a magnifying glass to powerful characters, herself included, and the underlying truths she unravels could apply to any number of Americans. The reader becomes invested in the characters’ lives, at times torn between empathy and disdain, but nonetheless needing to know what becomes of them.” (Becca Godwin, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

“Gerard’s native Florida links the assembled eight essays, but the setting is just that – a backdrop against which Gerard exercises an admirable impulse for experimentation. ‘BFF’ is an extremely intimate autopsy of a childhood friendship. ‘The Mayor of Williams Park’ is an immersive profile told in the quasi-detached first person, of G.W. Rolle, a minister who serves free weekend lunch meals.” (Kate Bolick, New York Times Book Review)

“It takes someone with orange juice in their veins and alligators in their heart to truly bring the lessons of a place as complex as Florida to bear… [Sunshine State] dissects what Florida means to the United States with a nuance and complexity only someone who has lived in it—and, just as importantly, moved away from itcan provide…. Listing the home’s elevation, an accurate certificate is requisite to assessing the home’s risk of flood damage or, in the case of Florida, its chances of surviving into the next few decades…. Florida is the nation’s elevation certificate; consider Gerard our realtor.” (B. David Zarley, Paste)

Sunshine State ebook pdf, epub, mobi, prc

About the Author

Sarah Gerard follows her breakout novel, Binary Star, with the dynamic essay collection Sunshine State, which explores Florida as a microcosm of the most pressing economic and environmental perils haunting our society.

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