“In the center of the county in the center of Indiana in the heart of the country, and down a long, dark hallway,” Noah Summers, a simple man who has led a far from simple life, sits before a roaring fire, drifting in and out of sleep. On this dark and lovely winter night, he will sift through the shards of his memories, trying to make sense of a lifetime of psychic visions and his family’s tumultuous history on an Indiana farmstead.
As a young man, Noah, a true innocent, fell deeply in love with Opal, a young woman with a penchant for flames. Once married, the couple move into their own house on his family’s farm. After forty-two idyllic days, Opal is overcome by her fascination with fire and institutionalized. Though Noah embarks on a journey to save her, he cannot, and must instead rely on her letters, his memories, and the strength of his family to sustain him.
Written in a masterful elegiac style that echoes Faulkner and Steinbeck, Indiana, Indiana is a compellingly beautiful and surreal Midwestern saga firmly grounded in an Indiana landscape populated by farmers, drifters, sheriffs, and ministers, and overflowing with musical saws, family bibles stuffed with flowers, and appliances rusting in the fields.
“Laird Hunt is a marvelous writer and a gutsy one— in Indiana, Indiana he offers an intimate reverie of people and place that, for its lyricism, odd humor, and delicacy, evokes the early Ondaatje.” —Rikki Ducornet