The Rabbit Hutch

Tess Gunty
In Conversation With Claire Vaye Watkins
Wednesday, June 28, 2023
Episode Summary

Join Tess Gunty to discuss her debut novel The Rabbit Hutch, the winner of this year’s National Book Award. In her darkly funny and remarkable novel, we’re introduced to a string of overlapping characters and plots mostly centered around La Lapinière, otherwise known as "The Rabbit Hutch," a run-down apartment building in Vacca Vale, Indiana. The novel unconventionally jumps among perspectives, mediums, and tenses, revealing the building's quirky residents. Gunty keeps the plot moving, creating a story that has you hooked from the first page until the surprising finale. The novel touches on so many important issues—loneliness, consumerism, community, and mental illness all with great subtly and intelligence.

Participant(s) Bio

Tess Gunty’s debut novel, The Rabbit Hutch, won the 2022 National Book Award for Fiction, the Waterstones Debut Fiction Prize, and the Barnes and Noble Discover Prize. It was named one of twelve essential reads by The New Yorker and a best book of the year by Time, NPR, the Chicago Tribune, People, the New York Times, and others. Her work has appeared in The Iowa Review, Granta, LitHub, Joyland, Freeman’s, and elsewhere. Gunty holds an MFA in Creative Writing from NYU, where she was a Lillian Vernon Fellow. She grew up in South Bend, Indiana, and now lives in Los Angeles.

Claire Vaye Watkins is the author of three works of fiction: I Love You but I’ve Chosen Darkness, Gold Fame Citrus, andcBattleborn, winner of the Story Prize, the Dylan Thomas Prize, and the Silver Pen Award from the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame. A recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Claire is a professor in the Programs in Writing at the University of California, Irvine. She lives in Tecopa, California.