Synopses & Reviews
As a teenage girl, Ginny marries Linus Lancaster, her mother's second cousin, and moves to his Kentucky pig farm "ninety miles from nowhere." In the shadows of the lush Kentucky landscape, Ginny discovers the empty promises of Linus' "paradise" — a place where the charms of her husband fall away to reveal a troubled man and cruel slave owner. Ginny befriends the young slaves Cleome and Zinnia who work at the farm — until Linus' attentions turn to them, and she finds herself torn between her husband and only companions. The events that follow Linus' death change all three women for life. Haunting, chilling, and suspenseful, Kind One is a powerful tale of redemption and human endurance in antebellum America.
"Hunt tells an unforgettable tale of the savagery of antebellum America in his haunting newest (after The Impossibly). Married off at a young age to her mother's second cousin, the teenaged Ginny quickly discovers that her new husband's Kentucky pig farm isn't the bucolic idyll she'd been promised. Linus quickly devolves from promising spouse to abusive master of his wife as well as two of his slaves, Cleome and Zinnia, whom the lonely Ginny befriends. But Linus isn't content to man the slaughter alone: 'He said if we were all going to eat pig... then we ought to kill it... The years went by and we ate and ate and so we killed and killed.' Eventually, Linus's reign of violence impels Ginny to starting raising her own hand against Cleome and Zinnia. But when Linus suddenly dies, the slave girls turn the tables on their brutal mistress and keep her shackled in a shed next to Linus's decaying body. Though the chronologically disjointed story is relayed through the points of view of several characters, Hunt deftly maintains an unsettling tone and a compelling narrative that will linger with readers long after the last page. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"There is always a surprise in the voice and in the heart of Laird Hunt's stories, with its echoes of habit caught in a timeless dialect, so we see the world he gives us as if new. 'You hear something like that and it walks out the door with you.'" Michael Ondaatje
"Laird Hunt's Kind One, about two slave girls who take their white mistress into captivity, is a profound meditation on the sexual and racial subconscious of America....[A] gorgeous and terrifying novel." Danzy Senna, author of Caucasia
"Opening with a prologue in the form of an extraordinarily beautiful meditation on loss, Hunt's writing deepens into allegory, symbolism and metaphor, all while spinning forth a dark tale of abuse, incest and corruption reminiscent of Faulkner....Profoundly imaginative, strikingly original, deeply moving." Kirkus, starred review
"Hunt has an ear for dialect, and the story itself reads like Faulkner mixed with Raymond Carver, while remaining recognizably Hunt's own. The reckonings that Hunt's characters face, as they do in so many of his novels, will reverberate in the reader's memory long after Kind One." Shelf Awareness
The powerful antebellum tale of three women and their evolving relationship as master, sister, friend, and captive.
About the Author
Laird Hunt is the author of several works of fiction and a finalist for the 2010 PEN Center USA Award in Fiction. Currently on the faculty of the University of Denver's creative writing program, he and his wife, the poet Eleni Sikelianos, live in Boulder, Colorado, with their daughter, Eva Grace.