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Tag Archives: Laird Hunt

Novelist Laird Hunt On The Women Who Influenced His Midwestern Storytelling

Credit: Ulf Andersen/Aurimages/AFP FORUM Laird Hunt, Wikipedia will tell you, “is an American writer, translator and academic.”  True, as far as that goes. But readers of Hunt’s haunted, touched-by-the-fantastical fiction know it goes much deeper, and farther back. At 48, Hunt’s beard has grayed, and he’s updated his stylish glasses since 2013, when he won an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for his antebellum novel “Kind One.” Today he describes that work as the beginning of a triptych, which grew to include his mesmerizing Civil War story “Neverhome” and the newly minted “An Evening Road.” This third book unspools in 1930 over a single August day and night in a sweltering rural Indiana that became notorious for a double lynching. Laird himself was a seventh-grade boy... Read More →

REVIEW: Laird Hunt’s “The Evening Road”

The Evening Road returns Laird Hunt to Indiana, where the Anisfield-Wolf winner lived on his grandmother’s farm during his high school years, and where his feel for the rural Midwest and its uncelebrated people has few equals in American literature. This seventh novel springs from one of the nation’s most troubled wells. Hunt tells it over a single summer night, anchored in the bloody lynching of two men – Abram Smith and Thomas Shipp -- in Marion, Indiana August 7, 1930.   “The events of that evening gave rise to the poem ‘Strange Fruit’ by Abel Meeropol, which was made famous as a song by Billie Holiday,” Hunt, now 48, writes about the source of his new novel. “At least 10,000 people (some put the number as high as 15k) flooded into the medium-sized town to attend the... Read More →

Laird Hunt Announces Big-Screen Adaptation Of Latest Novel, “Neverhome”

Anisfield-Wolf winning novelist Laird Hunt capped his book tour for the newly-released “Neverhome” by returning to Cleveland this week, arriving directly from Toronto with big news: the Dublin-based Element Pictures has acquired rights to his new novel and signed Lenny Abrahamson to direct. Hunt, 46, had just met with Abrahamson in Canada, where the director is set to film Emma Donaghue’s suspenseful bestseller “Room.”  Hunt told his Cleveland audience, gathered in the Beachwood branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library, that he and the Irish director hit it off and are excited about bringing “Neverhome” to film. It tells the story of Ash Thompson, formerly Constance Thompson, who leaves her Indiana farm disguised as a Union soldier to join the Civil War. Hunt said... Read More →

REVIEW: Laird Hunt’s “Neverhome” Takes Readers On A Mesmerizing Journey

Neverhome Laird Hunt Little, Brown & Co., 246 pp., $26 Laird Hunt’s transfixing new novel “Neverhome” unspools in the voice of a Civil War soldier.  It works upon the reader like a haunting.  The narrator is Ash Thompson, a young woman passing as a man into the uniform of the Union.The opening line: “I was strong and he was not so it was me went to war to defend the Republic.” Ash Thompson—born Constance—is telling us about her young husband Bartholomew and her strong desire to leave their Indiana farm to see the world: “I wanted to drink different waters, feel different heats. Stand with my comrades atop the ruin of old ideas. Walk forward with a thousand others. Plant my boot and steel my eye and not run.  I said all of this to my dead mother, spoke it down... Read More →

VIDEO: Laird Hunt On Winning A 2013 Anisfield-Wolf Award For Fiction

While Laird Hunt was in Cleveland for the 2013 Anisfield-Wolf ceremony, we managed to nab him for a brief interview during his busy day of press and pre-show preparation. Hunt was honored for Kind One, his 2012 novel that explores oppression on a rural Kentucky pig farm. (In interviews he often reveals that the idea for the book came from a nugget in another Anisfield-Wolf winner's work—Edward P. Jones' The Known World.) Find out how Hunt reacted when he got the call from Dr. Gates and what he thinks the award means to his career moving forward. Laird Hunt On Winning A 2013 Anisfield-Wolf Award For Fiction from Anisfield Wolf on Vimeo. Read More →

Meet Laird Hunt, 2013 Winner For Fiction

Laird Hunt is the author of five novels and one short story collection. His latest book, Kind One, won the 2013 Anisfield-Wolf award for fiction. In a video interview with Rain Taxi, Hunt describes being moved by a short passage in Edward P. Jones' The Known World, which prompted him to start writing Kind One: "He describes this anecdote about a woman who lives in this imaginary county he's constructed, who lives with her husband and two female slaves. One day the husband comes up dead and the slaves turn the tables on her and enslave her in turn. And then it's over and never mentioned again. But I got really interested in what would happen if this woman, many years later, describes what happens, with the idea of placing her voice somewhere in the slippery middle between victim and... Read More →

Meet Our 2013 Winners!

Laird HuntThe jury has spoken and five new authors will join the Anisfield-Wolf family. Our 2013 winners are:  Laird Hunt, Kind One, Fiction Kevin Powers, The Yellow Birds, Fiction Eugene Gloria, My Favorite Warlord, Poetry Andrew Solomon, Far From the Tree, Nonfiction Wole Soyinka, Lifetime Achievement “The 2013 Anisfield-Wolf winners are exemplars who broaden our vision of race and diversity,” said Henry Louis Gates, Jr., who chairs the jury. “This year, there is exceptional writing about the war in Iraq, slavery on a Kentucky pig farm, the Filipino experience in the U.S., and the complexity of families in which a child is radically different from parents.” Gates directs the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African-American Research at Harvard University, where... Read More →
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