Sacred Sites Audio Book

SoCal’s Secret History Revealed in New Audio book!

In the midst of world-wide environmental and pandemic crises, many people fear nature and science.  Susan Suntree’s new audio book, Sacred Sites, reveals both the science and the Native American myths and songs of SoCal’s ancient origins. In order to love nature and appreciate science and not fear them, we must know these stories.

Sacred Sites tells the whole story, scientific and indigenous—the Big Bang, ice ages, and earthquakes to shamanic shape shifting and heroic migrations. It opens our hearts, pointing through the cement and through the chaos of the modern world, to the heart of the natural world. These are the stories that steady us, while providing the keys to understanding these confusing times.

Narrated by Suntree and Kalani Queypo, and featuring Peter Coyote–the voice of Ken Burns’ documentaries – the audio theater production of Susan Suntree’s best-selling, award-winning book Sacred Sites: The Secret History of Southern California (University of Nebraska Press) is now available from multiple audiobook outlets. Original music composed by Tom Zehnder featuring Ernest Siva.

Now more than ever we need the historical knowledge and perspectives presented in Sacred Sites. As Pulitzer Prize –winning poet Gary Snyder writes in his foreword: “It brings us home.”  As David Ulin writes in his Los Angeles Times review, “[It comes} rooted in diversity and complexity, which many of the best books are about.”

To discuss or set up an interview with Susan Suntree, please contact Creative PR, (323) 893-2941 or email or email Susan Suntree at

Southern California’s history usually begins with the Spanish missions. But in Sacred Sites, Suntree weaves the geographical origins of the southern California landscape with the myths and songs of the people who lived in SoCal for more than 15,000 years; Some of their many villages gave us the names of familiar locations: Cucamonga, Cahuenga, Tujunga, Topanga.

Suntree reveals that the oldest human skeleton in North America was found in on one of the Channel Islands. Native American myths and songs describe our kinship to the natural world and our human role as essential balance keepers. Petroglyphs (ancient rock carvings) can be seen in the Simi Hills, near Los Angeles. In the Santa Monica Mountains, 16-million-year-old seashells poke through ridges that were once coastal sea beds. When the Ice Age ended, the bay that once filled the Los Angeles basin retreated, and the region basked in the current Mediterranean climate.

Suntree’s work has been recognized by indigenous leaders, scientists and academics:

“‘Human beings are the ones who have the power, through their songs, to affect the balance of the world.’ What an immensely beautiful book! —Stephen Greenblatt, Harvard University, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award

Sacred Sites honors the power and beauty of our indigenous heritage and homeland. By knowing our history, we better understand the present and our journey into the future.” —Anthony Morales, tribal chair, Gabrielino Tongva Council of San Gabriel

Suntree launched her long-term study when she moved to Los Angeles and discovered there was little information available to the general public about the landscape or the region’s indigenous people. It led her to work with tribal leaders, artists, and historians. Scientists at the region’s major universities and museums generously contributed to her research, taking Suntree to remarkable sites where she could observe the power of earthquake action and the diversity and beauty of the landscape. Indigenous cultural leaders guided Suntree’s research, helping her witness the power and meaning of their cultures through ceremony and storytelling. Her research resulted in various performance works including a one-woman show that she has presented internationally, and a best-selling book recently released in an updated paperback edition (University of Nebraska Press 2020) as well as this extraordinary, new audio production.

To purchase the audio book: Authors Direct

Or wherever audio books are sold.

Portrait of the Los Angeles River 50 thousand years ago.