Ottie Lee and Calla have two very different stories, yet they are both traveling on the darkest summer day in Indiana, 1930. Neither woman experiences a direct route on that day of the public lynching of young black men. White Ottie Lee is moving toward the carnival atmosphere of the lynching, and black Calla is trying to get far away from it. With rich dialogue and beautifully drawn characters, their stories paint the land with sentiments of people who are somehow surviving the Jim Crow mentality.
Two women, two directions: one dark, extraordinary day. Meet Ottie Lee Henshaw, a startling, challenging beauty in small-town Indiana. Quick of mind, she navigates a stifling marriage, a lecherous boss, and on one day in the summer of 1930 an odyssey across the countryside to witness a dark and fearful celebration. Meet Calla Destry, a determined young woman desperate to escape the violence of her town and to find the lover who has promised her a new life. On this day, the countryside of Jim Crow-era Indiana is no place for either. It is a world populated by frenzied demagogues and crazed revelers, by marauding vigilantes and grim fish suppers, by possessed blood hounds and, finally, by the Ku Klux Klan itself. Reminiscent of the works of Louise Erdrich, Edward P. Jones, and Marilynne Robinson, The Evening Road is the story of two remarkable women on the move through an America riven by fear and hatred, and eager to flee the secrets they have left behind.
About the Author
Laird Hunt is the author, most recently, of Neverhome, a New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice selection, IndieNext selection, winner of the Grand Prix de Litterature Americaine and The Bridge prize, and a finalist for thePrix Femina Etranger. A resident of Boulder, CO, he is on the faculty in the creative writing PhD program at the University of Denver, where he edits the Denver Quarterly.