Laird Hunt


Robert Jones Jr. and Laird Hunt talk tragedies and overlooked histories

Not all history is learned - or taught - in school. In today's first interview, Robert Jones Jr. tells NPR's Scott Simon that he wanted to be 'a witness to [those] testimonies that have not made it into the official record.' His novel, The Prophets, is about enslaved Black queer people in America. The second interview is about the seemingly mundane day-to-day that makes up a person's history in Zorrie. Author Laird Hunt told NPR's Scott Simon that just because someone's story seems unremarkable doesn't mean it isn't rich.
Picture for Robert Jones Jr. and Laird Hunt talk tragedies and overlooked histories

Laird Hunt proves life centers on the seemingly-mundane through the life of 'Zorrie'

Laird Hunt's "Zorrie" is about the kind of life we may not often read in novels. Zorrie is elderly. She's begun to tire after a life of hard work in Indiana and Illinois during the depression and then World War II and finds a postcard of Chicago in her mailbox and thinks she'd like to see it someday. She's lost her parents to diphtheria at an early age and then, not much later, the aunt who stepped in to raise her. She goes to work. She gets married. She absorbs more loss and loneliness and keeps going. The National Book Award finalist of a novel packs a hole absorbing human life into just 161 pages that are polished like jewels. Laird Hunt teaches at Brown University and joins us now from Paris.