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About the Author
Lydia Kiesling is the editor of The Millions. Her essays and criticism have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the Guardian, Slate, and the New Yorker online, and have been recognized in The Best American Essays 2016. She lives in San Francisco with her family.
A perfect evocation of the beautiful, strange, frightening, funny territory of new motherhood.-- "Karen Russell, New York Times bestselling author"
The Golden State anchors Daphne's journey in the visceral and material realities of motherhood...The novel beautifully depicts the golden light of California, the smell of the fescue grasses, the thinness of the air, and the way that Daphne and Honey often feel overwhelmed by the scale of the spaces they find themselves in.-- "New Yorker"
Kiesling vividly renders the high desert town, its beauty and its starkness, its juniper-scented air and its neglect, the way it both centers and saps Daphne. Kiesling is also an astute cultural commentator, shedding light on our current political divide.-- "San Francisco Chronicle"
In heartrending prose, Kiesling weaves through an exploration of the political and the private, fear and love, survival and obligation, loneliness and longing.-- "BuzzFeed"
With characters that ring vocally and emotionally true, narrator Amanda Dolan takes us to a place where achieving a state of happiness seems both obvious and impossible...Dolan, while giving full weight to Daphne's paralyzing despair, also captures her delight in and love for her child...Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award.-- "AudioFile"
An unusually accomplished debut, the book has all the elements this interviewer reads for: flow, language, ideas, surprises, humor, and a great big heart.-- "Millions"
A lyrical look at the often alienating, disorienting experience of early motherhood, the way in which it frays at already unraveling nerves, and the way in which external realities contribute to that fraying.-- "Nylon"
Portrays a frazzled mother and a fractious America...Kiesling depicts parenting in the digital age with humor and brutal honesty...But perhaps best of all is her thought-provoking portrait of a pioneer community in decline as anger and obsession fray bonds between neighbors, family, and fellow citizens.-- "Publishers Weekly (starred review)"
Encapsulates the intense and often conflicting feelings of early parenthood: frustration, tenderness, isolation...The Golden State sparks the lovely, lonely feelings inside us all.-- "Booklist"
Kiesling is a talented author...with a unique voice. She's very smart, very funny, and wonderfully empathetic...A skilled and promising writer.-- "Kirkus Reviews"
I felt mesmerized by the prose. Kiesling is an arresting writer on the sentence level...I loved this book because of the way it depicts a mother's love for her child: unsentimentally, honestly, and intensely...as a form of love that can be lonely, even though the object of it is always present.-- "Millions"