Tess Gunty was awarded the Waterstones Debut Fiction Prize for her “unique and innovative” debut novel The Rabbit Hutch.
His shortlist for the inaugural award was announced last month, with Gunty winning five other debut novelists to take home the award.
The Rabbit Hutch, voted for by Waterstones store floor employees known as booksellers, follows the lives of the residents of The Rabbit Hutch, an affordable housing complex in the growing town Vacca Vale’s decay in the Rust Belt – The American Midwest experienced industrial decline in the 1980s.
This novel is my attempt to regain a place derided as ‘overpass country’, a place seen as uncomplicated and unlucky, petty and pitiful, dull and ugly ugly and irrelevantTess Gunty
The novel explores social issues such as the care system, urbanization, poverty, and alienation, all following the coming-of-age story of the beautiful and intelligent Blandine, who is growing up in the middle of nowhere. shabby housing.
With hardships piling up against her, Blandine eventually finds family and community in the most unlikely places.
Gunty, who also grew up in a Rust Belt town in Indiana, will be awarded the £5,000 prize and the promise to continue her commitment to her writing career from the Waterstones.
She revealed that she was inspired to write Rabbit Hutch after realizing that she rarely saw cities like the one she depicted in the novels.
“As I was growing up, this seemed like a good reason to put my writing — understandably, wonderfully — in the post-industrial Midwest,” says Gunty.
Outraged by the structural abuse that generates so much unnecessary violence and despair, I began to realize that the story of my town is the story of countless towns across the Midwest, across the Midwest. across the United States, all over the world.
“This novel is my attempt to reclaim a place derided as ‘overpass country’, a place seen as uncomfortable and unlucky, petty and pitiful, dull and ugly and irrelevant.
“A city is, in fact, infinite cities. I want to emphasize that these homes and their people deserve attention. It is a tribute to those who are forgotten, alone and without loved ones.
“Above all, The Rabbit Hutch is a secular prayer for souls trapped in earthly prisons, an attempt to free themselves and others from the waiting room.
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“I hope it provides an opportunity to laugh, to think and to feel less alone. I hope it took you, just as it took me to a brighter and more compassionate place. “
Gunty started writing The Rabbit Hutch at the age of 23 and continued working on this novel for 5 years
Speaking of Gunty’s win, Waterstones Head of Fiction Bea Carvalho said: “We are delighted to announce Tess Gunty as the first winner of the Waterstones Debut Fiction Award.
“The Rabbit Hutch really has the feel of the next great American novel: it’s a wondrous, triumphant book that instantly reiterates the best of contemporary classics while simultaneously remains original and intensely creative.
“Gunty has written a critically moving, critical dissection of settlement, urbanization and the care system, tackling serious topics with warmth and wit.”
A group of Waterstones booksellers from shops across the UK were responsible for selecting The Rabbit Hutch as the recipient of the award.
Gunty received the award at a ceremony at the flagship Waterstones bookstore in Piccadilly, London on Thursday.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/fiercely-original-novel-the-rabbit-hutch-wins-waterstones-debut-fiction-prize-41937788.html ‘Unique’ Novel The Rabbit Hutch Wins Waterstones Launch Fiction Book Award