Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Laird Hunt's "Neverhome"

Laird Hunt is the award-winning author of a book of short stories, mock parables and histories, The Paris Stories (2000), and five novels from Coffee House Press: The Impossibly (2001), Indiana, Indiana (2003), The Exquisite (2006) Ray of the Star (2009) and Kind One (2012), which was a finalist for both the 2013 Pen/Faulkner award and the 2013 Pen USA Literary Award in Fiction and the winner of a 2013 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Fiction.

Here Hunt dreamcasts an adaptation of his new novel, Neverhome:
Of course as I was writing my novel about a woman who disguises herself as a man and goes to fight for the Union army during the Civil War it was hard, when I was pipe dreaming about filmic adaptation, not to think of Hilary Swank who played “Brandon Teena” so brilliantly in Boys Don’t Cry. My thoughts about how she would play my character, Ash Thompson, were given an extra charge when I spotted her a couple of times last summer when I was doing a writing residency to work on edits to Neverhome in Marfa, Texas. Still, the fact that she has already done it – and with such success – made it hard to imagine it happening again and my mind has turned elsewhere. Recently, watching the final episodes of the most recent season of Game of Thrones, I thought of Rose Leslie, who plays the fierce wildling Ygritte. My character Ash can be pretty ferocious and is good in a fight, to say the least. Leslie plays ferocity with convincing skill and one could well imagine her in disguise as a soldier. She would look great in a kepi! And just last week a friend alerted me to an interview given by the great French actress Marion Cotillard in which she remarks that she would enjoy the challenge of playing a man in a film. I would love to be able to pitch the idea of playing a woman “playing” a man not playing at war 150 years ago to her. I think she just might find the idea intriguing.
Visit Laird Hunt's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

The Page 69 Test: Neverhome.

--Marshal Zeringue