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Laird Hunt’s writing consistently consigns existential dread into the service of narratives that read the way blindfolded roller-coaster rides might feel.

Shelf Awareness

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“There is always a surprise in the voice and in the heart of Laird Hunt’s stories—with its echoes of habit caught in a timeless dialect, so we see the world he gives us as if new. ‘You hear something like that and it walks out the door with you.’”

Michael Ondaatje

“Kind One is a major achievement for Hunt . . . in its study of perpetuation of violence, it calls to mind Faulkner’s structures by way of Albert Camus and the dark dreamscapes of Jean Cocteau.”

David Varno, The Cleveland Plain Dealer

LAIRD HUNT’S FICTION lends an ominous tint to the familiar.

Los Angeles Review of Books

“[A]n unforgettable tale of the savagery of antebellum America…”

Publisher’s Weekly

…minimal, immersive, and utterly compelling

Vertigo

“…this gorgeous and terrifying novel.”

Danzy Senna, author of Caucasia

The dark, silent, forbidding Ohio River flows like a line of moral demarcation in Hunt’s…latest literary foray.

Kirkus, Starred Review

“[Kind One is] Laird Hunt’s haunting meditation on the crushing legacy of slavery in the American South…”

Gina Webb, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Hunt is a writer who, to steal a phrase from Allan Gurganus, is ‘still loyal at the level of the sentence.’”

Johannes Lichtman, The Oxford American


Kind One

As a teenage girl, Ginny marries Linus Lancaster, her mother’s second cousin, and moves to his Kentucky pig farm “ninety miles from nowhere.” In the shadows of the lush Kentucky landscape, Ginny discovers the empty promises of Lancaster’s “paradise”—a place where the charms of her husband fall away to reveal a troubled man and cruel slave owner. Ginny befriends the young slaves Cleome and Zinnia who work at the farm—until Lancaster’s attentions turn to them, and she finds herself torn between her husband and only companions.  The events that follow Lancaster’s death change all three women for life.

Haunting, chilling, and suspenseful, Kind One is a powerful tale of redemption and human endurance in antebellum America.

Visit the Kind One site.

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“This first novel of paranoia and, in an odd way, yearning, also is probably one of the funniest and strangest books I’ve read in a long while.”

St. Petersburg Times

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“…stylish, if opaque, noir.”

Kirkus Reviews

“Every once in a long while, you discover a novel unlike anything else you’ve ever read. Laird Hunt’s debut is one of them. Innovative, comic, bizarre and beautiful, The Impossibly reads as if Donald Barthelme were channeling Alain Robbe-Grillet, Samuel Beckett, Ben Marcus and reruns of Get Smart.”

Time Out New York

“…as dark and mysterious as its title.”

Hartford Courant

“…incredibly funny and well-written and oddly touching, and certainly unlike anything else you’ve read this year.”

The Capitol Times

“At times poignant and acerbic, The Impossibly almost reads like a commentary on Flann O’Brien’s classic The Third Policeman. As opposed to so much disposable fiction so shamelessly promoted these days, Laird Hunt is clearly a writer who has undergone a long apprenticeship in the intricate art of actually making sentences. The care and delight he takes in every word, from pronoun to article, definite or indefinite, offers the reader a rare and precise pleasure.”

Ammiel Alcalay

‘murky’, ‘obscure’, ‘hazy’, ‘hallucinatory’, ‘difficult’, ‘frustrating’,'incomprehensible’, ‘intriguing’

Publisher’s Weekly

“Simultaneously a compellingly elusive roman noir and an eccentric meditation on the nature of perception…”

Brian Evenson

“In fresh, inventive prose, the delightfully and maddeningly equivocal narrator of The Impossibly, Laird Hunt’s first novel, indirectly relates his circuitous story. He is some sort of freelance criminal, but, by inviting the reader into select minute details of his life, the narrator keeps the specifics out of focus until, incrementally, he reveals his line of work, the danger he risks and the duplicity of nearly all his acquaintances.”

Publisher’s Weekly


The Impossibly

When the anonymous narrator botches an assignment from the clandestine organization that employs him, everyone in his life becomes a participant in his punishment. In the end, he is called out of retirement for a final assignment: to seek and identify his own assassin. This edition includes an introduction by Percival Everett, an afterword by the author, and the novella, “Green Metal Door,” the first edition’s “lost chapter.”

The first time we met it was about a stapler, I think…



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Ray of the Star

Ray Roundup Time Out Chicago Time Out New York Denver Post January Magazine Guernica The Denver Examiner Bookforum Bookmunch Minnesota Reads The Selected Ballads Vol.1 Brooklyn Identity Theory The Quarterly Conversation Los Angeles Review (print only) American Book Review (print only) The Collagist (interview) HTMLGiant (interview) DU Today (interview/profile) DU Clarion (interview/profile) Elimae (interview) Largehearted Boy (playlist) NYTimes Papercuts (playlist) An atmospherically intense love story and a thrilling, fantastical tale of lost souls in peril. Set in a dream-like European city reminiscent of Barcelona, along a boulevard teeming with artists who perform as living statues, comes the beautiful and frightening story of a man running from his past, a woman consumed by grief, and the forces that pursue them both. New to the city, Harry is drawn to the boulevard, and particularly to Solange, a silent, silver angel awash in Lucite tears and heartbreak. Haunted by his own mysterious tragedy, but determined to woo her, Harry visits Almundo’s Store for Living Statues and begins his transformation into the golden “Knight of the Woeful Countenance.” A love story related in the dark, stylish noir of continental cinema and overlaid with a patina of Surrealism, this is a novel where friends are also informers, street theater is the lifeblood of culture, and refuge can be found in the belly of a yellow, papier mâché submarine. As the lovers reckon with seers offering answers to insoluble questions, neighbors who take evening strolls with the dearly departed, critics who control more than artistic fate, and shoes determined to lead their wearers astray, they come to understand the price of survival and what it means to travel along the ray of the star. Called “one of the most talented young writers on the American scene today” by Paul Auster, Laird Hunt is the author of three previous, genre-bending novels: The Impossibly, The Exquisite, and Indiana, Indiana. A former press officer at the United Nations and current faculty member at the University of Denver, he lives in Boulder, Colorado.

 

 

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“Laird Hunt is an extraordinary writer, and here he has made an unnerving and beautiful world with nothing but some scraps of the familiar and fresh language…”

Sam Lipsyte

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“This noir labyrinth captures the post-9/11 gestalt of anxiety and hopelessness.”

Publisher’s Weekly


The Exquisite

In the wake of 9/11, Henry, a New Yorker left destitute by circumstance and obsession, is plucked from vagrancy by a shadowy outfit whose primary business is arranging for staged murders of anxiety-ridden clients unhinged by the “events downtown” and seeking to experience—and live through—their own carefully executed assassinations. When Henry joins this nefarious crew, which includes a beautiful blonde tattooist named Tulip, contortionist twins, and a woman referred to only as “the knockout,” he becomes inextricably linked to its ringleader, the mysterious herring connoisseur Mr. Kindt, whose identity can be traced through twists and turns all the way back to the corpse depicted in Rembrandt’s The Anatomy Lesson.

Mirrored by a concurrently running story set in a hospital where Henry and Mr. Kindt are patients attended to by a certain Dr. Tulp, the mysteries surrounding Mr. Kindt’s past, Henry’s fate, and murders both staged and real, begin to unravel in the most extraordinary ways. Substantive, stylish, and darkly comic, The Exquisite is a skillful dissection of reality, human connection, and the very nature of existence.



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“Strange, original, and utterly brilliant-Laird Hunt is one of the most talented young writers on the American scene today.”

Paul Auster

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“Like the best American writers, Laird Hunt is recasting the American song, lyrically and philosophically.”

Lynne Tillman


Indiana, Indiana

A beautiful and surreal tale of love and loss in America’s heartland, Indiana, Indiana is the story of one simple man’s life told through the echoes of his memories and the correspondence between him and his wife. Written in a masterful elegiac style reminiscent of Faulkner and Steinbeck, this poignant novel is a moonlit American saga firmly grounded in an Indiana landscape populated by drifters, ministers, sheriffs, and kin-a terrain dominated by big sky and charged with the haunting music of rust-ruined tools and heartbreaking twists of fate.



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