The upcoming Audible Original Sunset Springs, from acclaimed writer Kacen Callender, follows a young trans man who returns home to his small town. And The Advocate has an exclusive clip from the piece, which is out on Audible in June.
Dubbed an “audio novella,” the 90-minute reading is the heartfelt story of 27-year-old Charlie who has “no choice but to leave New York City and move in with his mom in his isolated and conservative hometown of Sunset Springs.”
The synopsis for the piece, written exclusively for an audio format, reads:
“Home isn’t a comfortable place for Charlie. One of very few Black residents and the only trans person around town that he knows of, this will be Charlie’s first time back in Sunset Springs since he transitioned. He expects confusion and maybe even hostility. He definitely does not expect Jackson Ford. Jack was the brooding yet beloved football star at their high school, but now, he’s an outsider after coming out as gay. When Charlie and Jackson fall for each other in a swift and surprising romance, Charlie has to decide if he’s willing to exchange his old dreams for a new one.”
A National Book Award- and Lambda Literary Award-winning author of books including Felix Ever After and King and the Dragonflies, Callender (they/them) has spoken out about the need for trans representation in literature.
“Let’s focus on our own beautiful stories and making sure that those end up in the hands of young readers who need them,” Callender, who is Black, queer, and trans, said in response to J.K. Rowling’s hurtful anti-trans stance.
The Audible Original is performed by Commarrah Yochanan, who is a Black trans-nonbinary Jewish actrix, writer, and organizer, according to a release from Audible.
In the exclusive clip below, Charlie is on his way home to live with his family in Sunset Springs after enduring financial and emotional hardship. Calling the journey a “pilgrimage,” he clocks the familiar sites of the place where he grew up and where no one knows him as the person he’s become.
Listen below. Sunset Springs is out on Audible on June 3.