Indiana, Indiana by Laird Hunt

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Synopsis

"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.

"As everyone who read The Impossibly knows, Laird Hunt’s ability to create a sense of otherworldliness is astonishing. Indiana, Indiana resonates for miles."—Amy Fusselman, author of The Pharmacist’s Mat

Laird Hunt, former United Nations press officer and -current faculty member at Naropa University, has lived in Singapore, Tokyo, London, Paris, The Hague, and on a farm in Indiana. He is the author of the novel The Impossibly, and his writing has appeared both here and abroad in many publications, including Grand Street, Fence, Conjunctions, Ploughshares, and Zoum Zoum. He and his wife, poet Eleni Sikelianos, live in Boulder, Colorado.

 

About Laird Hunt

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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.
 
Published September 1, 2003 by Coffee House Press. 200 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Hunt’s depiction of the inner workings of Noah’s mind (often phrased in extremely long stream-of-consciousness sentences) takes some getting used to, but he becomes a credible and sympathetic character in short order, and his plight—and Opal’s—become equally vivid (and heartbreaking).

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