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UB to bring novelist Laird Hunt to Buffalo


Published October 3, 2013

Laird Hunt

Award-winning American novelist and translator Laird Hunt is coming to Buffalo on Oct. 10 as part of the UB Department of English’s Exhibit X Fiction Series.

He will give a free reading at 7 p.m. at Hallwalls Cinema, 341 Delaware Ave., Buffalo.

Hunt’s fiction transcends genres and includes work that can be considered experimental, exploratory, noir and speculative. 

He was a 2013 nominee for the PEN/Faulkner Award, one of the nation’s most prestigious fiction prizes, and recently received the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for his haunting 2012 novel “Kind One,” a gothic novel sent in antebellum Kentucky that was described by the Cleveland Plain Dealer as a “haunting meditation on the crushing legacy of slavery.” It was a finalist for multiple awards and has drawn strong emotional reactions from its readers.

Christina Milletti, associate professor of English and co-curator of this year’s Exhibition X series, reflects that readers in the 2012-13 series—Tom McCarthy, Lydia Millet and Lawrence Norfolk—all won, or were nominated for, major literary awards shortly after their visits to Buffalo.

“Our goal is to bring rising talent in contemporary fiction to Buffalo from both the national and international landscape,” she says. “We’ve been fortunate to have great success identifying novelists who aren’t afraid to push buttons or boundaries as they tell provocative stories.

“Laird Hunt has been on our radar for a long time. His fiction unerringly mines the state of the human condition and our capacity for violence, solitude and love.

“Each Exhibition X reading has been unique,” she says, “and Hunt’s work is very different from that of next semester’s guests, Victor LaValle, Martin Nakell, Rebecca Goodman and Amanda Micholopoulou. However, each of them, too, has an exquisite impact on an audience.”

In addition to “Kind One,” Hunt is the author of a book of short stories, “The Paris Stories” (2000), and four novels from Coffee House Press: “The Impossibly” (2001), “Indiana, Indiana” (2003), “The Exquisite” (2006) and “Ray of the Star” (2009).

His new book, the Civil War novel “Neverhome,” will be published soon in the United States by Little, Brown.

Hunt translated “Vacant Lot,” an experimental novel by German author Oliver Rohe, and with Anne Laure Tissut, “Brando, My Solitude,” a “biographical hypothesis” by award-winning French author Arno Bertina.

Hunt’s work is published in France by Actes Sud, and he has novels published or forthcoming in Japan, Italy, Spain, Germany and Turkey. His writings, reviews and translations have appeared in the United States and abroad.

Hunt currently is on faculty of the University of Denver’s Creative Writing Program, where he edits the Denver Quarterly. He has had residencies at the MacDowell Colony and the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France, and was a participant in the Lannan Foundation’s summer 2013 residency program in the high-desert town of Marfa, Texas.