KGB: Behind the Book

October 11, 2018
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Laird Hunt’s lyrical latest novel, In the House in the Dark of the Woods, is the fourth tale in his masterful America series of novels exploring both the evils and the possible grace of humanity through the lives of women at pivotal moments in American history.  Set in colonial New England years before the Salem witch trials, his latest tells the story of a law-abiding, God-fearing woman who goes missing.  Or who perhaps fled and abandoned her family.  Or been kidnapped and set loose to wander in the dense woods of the north.  A horror story about a woman who stands at a crossroads of American history, In the House in the Dark of the Woods weaves psychological horror and suspense into a contemporary fairy tale.  Laird is the acclaimed author of seven novels, a collection of stories, and two book-length translations from the French.  Kind One was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Fiction, and Neverhome won the Grand Prix de Littérature Américaine and The Bridge Prize and was shortlisted for the Prix Femina Étranger.  His most recent novel, The Evening Road, was a Financial Times of London Best Book of 2017.  His reviews and essays have been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Daily Beast, The Guardian, and elsewhere, and his fiction and translations have appeared in many literary journals in the United States and abroad.  A former United Nations press officer, Laird took up a Professorship of Literary Arts at Brown University this September.

“Part psychological thriller, part fairy tale, part mystery, and entirely Hunt’s own, In the House in the Dark of the Woods continues Hunt’s American history trilogy with his characteristic lyricism and storytelling acumen.  I admire how even the minor characters cast long shadows, how we are in the past, yes, but so very much in the present.  With the surprise of fairy tale and fable, but the complexity of one’s favorite literary novel, Laird Hunt again gives us of fierce, complex women living in American history.”
– TaraShea Nesbit, author of The Wives of Los Alamos

Tamsen Wolff’s acclaimed debut novel, Juno’s Swans, vividly brings to life the dizzying experience of first love – and its inevitable partner, first heartbreak, in the late 1980s.  With lyrical prose, nuanced characters, and an evocative narrative voice, Juno’s Swans weaves a nuanced depiction of female relationships – both romantic and platonic – against the waning of the Reagan years and the burgeoning HIV-AIDS crisis and the post-Stonewall emergence of a strong LGBTQ movement.  Tamsen is a professor in Princeton University’s English Department, where she specializes in modern and contemporary drama and performance, gender studies, cultural studies, directing, voice, and dramaturgy.  An Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework, she has taught courses and coached individuals in voice, text, and public speaking.  She has published essays in numerous journals, and is the author of Mendel’s Theatre: Heredity, Eugenics, and Early Twentieth-Century American Drama.  She lives with her family in Princeton.

“With its acutely portrayed psychological depth, a heady summer at its heart, and its focus on a well-worn friendship that becomes uncharted territory when first love enters the picture, Wolff’s debut, coming-of-age novel casts a literary spell that recalls the dazzling second book of Elena Ferrante’s Neopolitan novels, The Story of a New Name.”
– Booklist