Unfamiliar Fishes

Unfamiliar Fishes

Sarah Vowell thinks of Hawaii as the most American state. She argues that it’s “breathtaking in its beauty, sometimes hideously developed, overwhelmingly religious, impoverished (except for pockets of staggering wealth), crass and spiritual all at once.” In Unfamiliar Fishes, she will explore the exceptional history of Hawaii with her personal reporting and trademark smart-aleckiness to find out the odd and emblematic history of Hawaii, and how it got to be that way. She will explain how Hawaii is Manifest Destiny’s plate lunch.

There will be cannibalism. There will be incest. There will massacres. There will be con men and dreamers. There will be racism. There will be Theodore Roosevelt. There will be history and Obama and America and opportunistic missionaries and warring whalers and kings and queens. And there will even be lepers. And therefore it will be a great and entertaining story of American history, told in Vowell’s inimitable voice and in her unconventional style.

Unfamiliar Fishes is a vacation into a colorful and riveting period in history with America’s favorite historical travel companion, Sarah Vowell.
  • Simon & Schuster Audio | 
  • ISBN 9781442337305 | 
  • March 2011
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Sarah Vowell Unfamiliar Fishes Audio Excerpt

Listen to an excerpt from Sarah Vowell's UNFAMILIAR FISHES Audiobook, with performances by Edward Norton, John Slattery, Bill Hader, Fred Armisen, John Hodgman, Catherine Keener, Keanu Reeves, Paul Rudd, Maia Rudolph, Michael Giacchino, and Grant-Lee

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About the Author

Sarah Vowell
Photo Credit:

Sarah Vowell

Sarah Vowell is a contributing editor for public radio's This American Life and has written for Time, Esquire, GQ, Spin, Salon, McSweeneys, The Village Voice, and the Los Angeles Times. She is the author of Radio On, Take the Cannoli, and The Partly Cloudy Patriot. She lives in New York City.

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