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The Rabbit Hutch

Tess Gunty


‘On a hot night in Apartment C4, Blandine Watkins exits her body. She is only eighteen years old, but she has spent most of her life wishing for this to happen.’ This is the opening to Tess Gunty’s debut, which describes the lives of Blandine and many other characters who in one way or another are tied up in the events leading up to this bizarre climax.

_The Rabbit Hutch_ in the fictional Vacca Vale in post-industrial Midwest was meant as an affordable housing complex but has now turned into a shabby apartment block where Blandine shares a flat with Todd, Malik and Jack. All four have recently ‘aged out’ of the foster care system. The boys have all fallen in love with their housemate, who is very smart and reads anthologies about Christian female mystics, and have started to sacrifice animals – not graphically described – to prove their love. One of their neighbours is Joan, who works for, screening obituary comments for foul language. She has removed a comment by Moses Robert Blitz on his mother’s death. He calls himself the ‘Abominable Glow Man’ for a reason and is not happy with Joan.

The story is intriguing, fast-paced, told from various perspectives and at times a little strange and absurd. But it is also heart-warming. These unique characters all radiate a certain loneliness, but keep on trying to find their own paths in life.


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