Kind One (Paperback)
The powerful antebellum tale of three women and their evolving relationship as master, sister, friend, and captive.
About the Author
Called "one of the most talented young writers on the American scene today" by Paul Auster, Laird Hunt is the author of three previous, genre-bending novels: THE IMPOSSIBLY, THE EXQUISITE, and INDIANA, INDIANA. A former press officer at the United Nations and current faculty member at the University of Denver, he lives in Boulder, Colorado.
"There is always a surprise in the voice and in the heart of Laird Hunt’s storieswith 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. Nothing is sacred here. Savagery begets savagery. Women commit unspeakable violence, wives are complicit in their husband's crimes, slave girls learn to be as cold and brutal as the masters who have raped and whipped them. Of course the center cannot hold. We watch it crumble with breath held, skin tingling, in this 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
"[A]n unforgettable tale of the savagery of antebellum America . . . Hunt deftly maintains an unsettling tone and a compelling narrative that will linger with readers long after the last page." Publishers Weekly
"[A] study in the perpetuation of violence, the lasting impact of abuse, the damage subjugation can inflict on the individual and society, and the potential for redemption through forgiveness."ForeWord
"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
"Laird Hunt's Kind One is a mesmerizing novel of sin and expiation that plumbs the depths of human depravity and despair, yet hints at the possibility of redemption . . . [O]ne that will resonate long after you turn its last page."Minneapolis Star Tribune
"In taut, hypnotic chapters that loop forward and back in time, Hunt interweaves dreams, African folktales and elements of Shakespeare to deliver half-seen glimpses of the past, narrated by Ginny and several characters whose lives have intersected in the past.The Atlantic Journal-Constitution
"Laird Hunt's novel Kind One is as powerful and dark a novel I have read all year, a book as exquisitely written as it is haunting."Largehearted Boy