A novel by Laird Hunt
September 1, 2003 • 5 x 8 • 200 pages • 978-1-56689-144-8
A mesmerizing, poignant tale of love and loss in the heart of rural America.
“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.
About the Author
Called “one of the most talented young writers on the American scene today” by Paul Auster, Laird Hunt is the author of five genre-bending novels: The Impossibly, The Exquisite, Indiana, Indiana, Ray of the Star, and Kind One. His books have been translated and released in France, Italy, and Japan, and The Impossibly is available as an audiobook through Iambik Audio. His work has also appeared in several recent anthologies including Noise: Fiction Inspired by Sonic Youth, in which the Village Voice says “Laird Hunt’s ‘Kissability,’ in its distillation of inchoate teenage longing, is . . . as lovely a passage as anything in pop music.”
Born in Singapore and educated at Indiana University and The Sorbonne in Paris, Hunt has also lived in Tokyo, London, The Hague, New York City, and on an Indiana farm. A former press officer at the United Nations and current faculty member at the University of Denver, he now lives in Boulder, Colorado.
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“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