The Rabbit Hutch (Hardback)Tess Gunty (author)
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Powered by playful originality and a cast of brilliantly drawn characters living in the same dilapidated apartment block in a post-industrial Mid-West town, Gunty's compulsively readable debut blends razor-sharp psychological insight with irresistible humour.
Waterstones Fiction Book of the Month for September 2022
A bitingly funny, razor-sharp debut about a motley assortment of residents in a crumbling apartment block.
Welcome to The Rabbit Hutch.
An online obituary writer. A young mother with a secret. A woman waging a solo campaign against rodents. Separated by the thin walls of The Rabbit Hutch, a low-cost housing complex in the run-down Indiana town of Vacca Vale, these individual lives unfold.
But Blandine isn't like the other residents of her building. Ethereally beautiful and formidably intelligent, she spends her hours reading Dante and dreaming about becoming a female mystic.
Until, that is, three sweltering days in July culminate in an act of violence that will change everything, and finally offer her a chance to escape. Savage and hilarious, The Rabbit Hutch is a piercing look at the power structures that shape us, and the tale of a young woman with irrepressible strength.
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
Number of pages: 352
Dimensions: 234 x 153 mm
'Just when everything seemed designed for a brief moment of utility before its planned obsolescence, here comes The Rabbit Hutch, a profoundly wise, wildly inventive, deeply moving work of art whose seemingly infinite offerings will remain with you long after you finish it. Each page of this novel contains a novel, a world.' - Jonathan Safran Foer, author of Everything is Illuminated
'The Rabbit Hutch is philosophical, and earthy, and tender and also simply very fun to read - Tess Gunty is a distinctive talent, with a generous and gently brilliant mind.' - Rivka Galchen, author of Little Labours
'Tess Gunty is a younger writer of uncommon originality, both in terms of voice and vision. I admire her work and expect to be reading it with especial delight for a long time to come.' - Rick Moody, author of The Ice Storm
'As a testament to this book's generosity, the music of George Saunders, Dorothy Parker, David Foster Wallace, maybe Rachel Cusk emerges... The Rabbit Hutch aches, bleeds, and even scars but it also forgives with laughter, with insight, and finally, through an act of generational independence that remains this novel's greatest accomplishment, with an act of rescue.' - Mark Danielewski, author of House of Leaves
'Tess Gunty is a masterful talent with a remarkable eye for the poetic, the poignant and the absurdly sublime. The Rabbit Hutch unspools the story of Blandine Watkins and other inhabitants of a rundown building on the edge of the once bustling Vacca Vale, Indiana. A brutal and beautiful novel that both delights and devastates with its unflinching depiction of Rust Belt decline, Gunty's debut is a tour de force that's sure to top this year's best-of lists.' - Lauren Wilkerson, author of American Spy'A firecracker debut. Seriously impressive... the writing is incandescent, the range of styles and voices remarkable... there's so much dazzling stuff here.' - The Sunday Times
'Inventive, heartbreaking and acutely funny.' - Observer
'Here is something new, a first novel with the wisdom and tenderness of a masterwork; an unflinching look about the down and out that continues to rise and rise. The Rabbit Hutch is addictive, mesmerizing and unforgettable.' - Marlon James, author of Black Leopard, Red Wolf
'Throughout, tension is mixed with hilarity, heartbreak with hope. It all makes for a gripping, memorable debut full of peculiar wonders.' - Mail on Sunday
'Gunty writes with a keen, sensitive eye about all manner of intimacies.' - Raven Leilani, author of Luster
'The Rabbit Hutch balances the banal and the ecstatic in a way that made me think of prime David Foster Wallace. It's a story of love, told without sentimentality; a story of cruelty, told without gratuitousness. Gunty is a captivating writer.' - Guardian
'Summer's biggest literary debut... a powerful and brutal book, brimming with dark and funny lines.' - Los Angeles Times'Gunty's angry, coruscating debut [is] the most promising first novel I've read all year.' - Wall Street Journal
'The Rabbit Hutch [is] a bewitchingly unique set of interlinked stories that I'm currently racing through.' - Independent
'Exquisitely written, acutely observed and breathtakingly original. There was not a single page that didn't contain at least one phrase or sentence that I wanted to underline to return to later. Gunty's prose crackles with energy, wit and intent. Reading The Rabbit Hutch is like experiencing a literary hallucination! I loved it!' - Claire McGlasson, author of The Rapture
'This breathtaking novel centres around the inhabitants of the Rabbit Hutch, a run-down apartment building at the edge of a dying city. Each of the inhabitants have their own challenges, but the four teenagers living there together are especially poised on the brink. Your allegiances will shift and shift again as the plot writhes toward a shocking, but inevitable, conclusion.' - Good Housekeeping
'Remarkable... brilliantly imaginative... Gunty is a wonderful writer, a master of the artful phrase... best of all, her fully realized characters come alive on the page, capturing the reader and not letting go.' - Booklist
'A stunning and original debut that is as smart as it is entertaining... with sharp prose and startling imagery, the novel touches on subjects from environmental trauma to rampant consumerism to sexual power dynamics to mysticism to mental illness, all with an astonishing wisdom and imaginativeness.' - Kirkus'Gunty writes with such compassion for her characters as they build their lives and assert their agency in a country that utterly disregards them, and in particular Blandine's bright, fierce curiosity for the world kept me moving through the story; she's a warrior, an intellectual force, a young woman who refuses to be disempowered. This is a skillfully told, beautiful, human story.' - Literary Hub
'Gunty debuts with an astonishing portrait of economically depressed Vacca Vale, Indiana, centered on the residents of a subsidized apartment building nicknamed the Rabbit Hutch... readers will be breathless.' - Publisher's Weekly
'Mesmerizing... a novel of impressive scope and specificity... one of the pleasures of the narrative is the way it luxuriates in language, all the rhythms and repetitions and seashell whorls of meaning to be extracted from the dull casings of everyday life... [Gunty] also has a way of pressing her thumb on the frailty and absurdity of being a person in the world; all the soft, secret needs and strange intimacies. The book's best sentences - and there are heaps to choose from - ping with that recognition, even in the ordinary details.' - New York Times Book Review
'As surreal as it is genius... spanning one week, the novel culminates in a shocking and violent climax that will stay with your long after you turn the last page.' - BuzzFeed
'A first novel of uncommon power... a character-driven marvel... this is fiction that feels completely new while also pulling together dark impulses and base instincts that are familiar to every one of us. Gunty is doing a lot, and it's all working. The Rabbit Hutch is a singular and piercing story.' - Alta
'Tess Gunty [has an] evocative way with words... Gunty treats The Rabbit Hutch like a wall of glass cages at a pet store and we readers are voyeuristic shoppers peering in... if you scratch away the layers of surrealism and satire, you find Gunty's practical insight into the meaning of life. It's complicated, hard as hell, and yet beautiful. At its core, The Rabbit Hutch asks us to question what it means to be alive, especially in the age of the internet.' - Oprah Daily
'The Rabbit Hutch is an immersive story that is simultaneously disquieting, thrilling, and deeply moving.' - Shondaland
'One of the most talked about debuts of the year so far, Tess Gunty's The Rabbit Hutch feels like a cult classic in the making.' - i-D
'Gunty writes with such compassion for her characters as they build their lives and assert their agency in a country that utterly disregards them, and in particular Blandine's bright, fierce curiosity for the world kept me moving through the story; she's a warrior, an intellectual force, a young woman who refuses to be disempowered. This is a skillfully told, beautiful, human story.' - LiteraryHub
'As Gunty introduces each new voice, she makes storytelling seem like the most fun a person can have. She draws us along with rapturous glee while layering her symbolism so thick that the story should, by all rights, drown in it. But The Rabbit Hutch never loses focus thanks to Blandine, who has a kind of literary superpower: She's aware of her place in the story, points out Gunty's metaphors, arches a brow at the symbols and has something to say about all of it... redemption is possible, and Gunty's novel consecrates this noble search.' - BookPage
'Masterly prose and imaginative depictions... Gunty's first novel is a weirdly absorbing read that captures the heart and soul of a Rust Belt town... a woefully beautiful tale of a community striving for rebirth and redemption; highly recommended.' - Library Journal
'An ambitious debut... with hints of Rachel Kushner (The Flamethrowers) and Ali Smith (How to Be Both), Gunty's writing is richly detailed and poignant.' - PureWow
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If The Rabbit Hutch had existed when I was in my late teens/early twenties, I would have held it close and cherished it.
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I think this will stay with me for a long while - it's an extraordinary book, unlike anything I've read before.
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