“This is not a just book you are holding in your hands; it is a life. Laird Hunt gives us here the portrait of a woman painted with the finest brush imaginable, while also rendering great historical shifts with bold single strokes. A poignant, unforgettable novel, Zorrie is Hunt at his best.”
—Hernan Diaz, author of Trust and In the Distance
Third Place Books is pleased to welcome Laird Hunt—the critically-acclaimed author of In the House in the Dark of the Woods and The Evening Road—for a reading and discussion of his latest novel, Zorrie. This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required in advance.
Copies of Zorrie will be available for purchase at the store. This event will include a public signing and time for audience Q&A. Sustain our author series by purchasing a copy of the featured book!
for this in-person event
From prize-winning, acclaimed author Laird Hunt, a poignant novel about a woman searching for her place in the world and finding it in the daily rhythms of life in rural Indiana.
“It was Indiana, it was the dirt she had bloomed up out of, it was who she was, what she felt, how she thought, what she knew.”
As a girl, Zorrie Underwood’s modest and hardscrabble home county was the only constant in her young life. After losing both her parents to diphtheria, Zorrie moved in with her aunt, whose own death orphaned Zorrie all over again, casting her off into the perilous realities and sublime landscapes of rural, Depression-era Indiana. Drifting west, Zorrie survived on odd jobs, sleeping in barns and under the stars, before finding a position at a radium processing plant. At the end of each day, the girls at her factory glowed from the radioactive material.
But when Indiana calls Zorrie home, she finally finds the love and community that have eluded her in the small town of Hillisburg. And yet, even as she tries to build a new life, Zorrie discovers that her trials have only begun.
Spanning an entire lifetime, a life convulsed and transformed by the events of the 20th century, Laird Hunt’s extraordinary novel offers a profound and intimate portrait of the dreams that propel one tenacious woman onward and the losses that she cannot outrun. Set against a harsh, gorgeous, quintessentially American landscape, this is a deeply empathetic and poetic novel that belongs on a shelf with the classics of Willa Cather, Marilynne Robinson, and Elizabeth Strout.
“A virtuosic portrait of midcentury America itself … What Hunt ultimately gives us is a pure and shining book, an America where community becomes a ‘symphony of souls,’ a sustenance greater than romance or material wealth for those wise enough to join in.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“Laird Hunt's Zorrie is compelling from its first page, the prosody like a 'bolt of crinoline and serge and silk.' Zorrie is 'no giant,' but her life is as full and satisfying as the short novel, fecund with grain and clover, sweetgrass and damp earth, love, loss, and radiant Luna dust. I read it, with great pleasure, in one sitting.”
—Nafissa Thompson-Spires, author of Heads of the Colored People
“A tender, glowing novel.”
—Anthony Doerr, Guardian, “Best Books of the Year”
Laird Hunt is the author of eight novels, a collection of stories, and two book-length translations from the French. He has been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and won the Anisfield-Wolf Award for Fiction, the Grand Prix de Littérature Américaine, and Italy’s Bridge prize. His reviews and essays have been published in the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and many others. He teaches in the Literary Arts program at Brown University and lives in Providence. (Photo credit: Eva Sikelianos Hunt)
Want a signed edition of the featured book, but can't make it to the event? Order through our website or over the phone, and write your request for a signature or personalization in the comments field at checkout. Please call the hosting store if you're placing your order within 24 hours of the event.
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