Nearly four years to the date after Sweetbitter hit shelves, Stephanie Danler is following up her bestselling (and cult-favorite) novel with a memoir that can best be described as a punch right in the breastbone.
In Stray, the author builds on the themes of self-destruction and unmooring that fans have come to know her for, with an examination of her traumatic childhood and some of the more questionable decisions she made in her otherwise successful adult life. Stray, which is out now, is split into three sections: Mother, Father, and Monster, the latter being the moniker she uses to refer to her married boyfriend (whom she was having an affair with).
EW has an exclusive excerpt from the audiobook, read by Danler's close childhood friend Alex McKenna, who also appears several times within the book itself. This excerpt falls in the middle of the Father section but tells of an encounter in Washington, D.C. early in her relationship with the Monster. It hits like most of this plotline in the book: Brutally honest and carefully introspective.