Laird Hunt is the award-winning author of a book of short stories, mock parables and histories, The Paris Stories (2000), and five novels from Coffee House Press: The Impossibly (2001), Indiana, Indiana (2003), The Exquisite (2006) Ray of the Star (2009) and Kind One (2012), which was a finalist for both the 2013 Pen/Faulkner award and the 2013 Pen USA Literary Award in Fiction and the winner of a 2013 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Fiction.
Hunt's new novel is Neverhome.
From his Q & A with Simon McDonald at The Reading Room:
The narrator of Neverhome is Ash Thompson: a young woman who passes herself off as a man in order to go to war to defend the Republic. What was the inspiration for Ash, and her journey?Visit Laird Hunt's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.
Hundreds of actual women did this during the American Civil War. I first learned about them when my wife gave me a copy of Sarah Rosetta Wakeman’s war letters. Wakeman disguised herself as a man and went to fight for the Union using the first name Lyons. That gift from my wife came 18 years ago, meaning it took me some 14 or 15 years to find my way to the first line of the novel and the story that poured out of it. There were so many reasons these women went to war and as I wrote (I do a good portion of my research as I am writing) I learned more and more about them. They went for adventure, patriotism, opportunity, love and other reasons. In many cases, we don’t know why they went, only that they were there. The character that came to me has her own very personal and complex reasons for going to war. A large part of the impetus for telling the story has to do with exploring those reasons and perhaps, simultaneously, shedding light on the multi-faceted humanity both of Ash and...[read on]
The Page 69 Test: Neverhome.
My Book, The Movie: Neverhome.
Writers Read: Laird Hunt.