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Zorrie  By  cover art

Zorrie

By: Laird Hunt
Narrated by: Holly Palance
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Publisher's Summary

Bloomsbury presents Zorrie by Laird Hunt, read by Holly Palance.

'It was Indiana, it was the dirt she had bloomed up out of, it was who she was, what she felt, how she thought, what she knew.'

As a girl, Zorrie Underwood’s modest and hardscrabble home county was the only constant in her young life. After losing both her parents, Zorrie moved in with her aunt, whose own death orphaned Zorrie all over again, casting her off into the perilous realities and sublime landscapes of rural, Depression-era Indiana. Drifting west, Zorrie survived on odd jobs, sleeping in barns and under the stars, before finding a position at a radium processing plant. At the end of each day, the girls at her factory glowed from the radioactive material.

But when Indiana calls Zorrie home, she finally finds the love and community that have eluded her in and around the small town of Hillisburg. And yet, even as she tries to build a new life, Zorrie discovers that her trials have only begun.

Spanning an entire lifetime, a life convulsed and transformed by the events of the 20th century, Laird Hunt’s extraordinary novel offers a profound and intimate portrait of the dreams that propel one tenacious woman onward and the losses that she cannot outrun. Set against a harsh, gorgeous, quintessentially American landscape, this is a deeply empathetic and poetic novel that belongs on a shelf with the classics of Willa Cather, Marilynne Robinson and Elizabeth Strout.

©2021 Laird Hunt (P)2021 Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

Critic Reviews

"This is not a just book you are holding in your hands; it is a life. Laird Hunt gives us here the portrait of a woman painted with the finest brush imaginable, while also rendering great historical shifts with bold single strokes. A poignant, unforgettable novel, Zorrie is Hunt at his best." (Hernan Diaz, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of In the Distance)

"A sweeping, lyrical and profound portrait of a remarkable woman moving through the perils and wonders of 20th century American life. Zorrie will break your heart with its propulsive beauty, depth and grace." (Mona Awad, author of Bunny)

"With patience, precision and language so clear and generous, you feel as if you are being handed a precious and fragile truth, Laird Hunt brings us an indelible portrait of a 20th century American woman. Zorrie travels through her years with a straightforward decency that nevertheless does not shield her from harm, heartbreak, yearning and a hard-won recognition of joy. It takes Hunt only a 150 pages to take us from one end of Zorrie’s life to the other and yet I closed the book feeling that I had read an epic." (Marisa Silver, best-selling author of Mary Coin and Little Nothing)

What listeners say about Zorrie

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Beautiful writing, bad storytelling

This book is beautifully written, but at times it moves terribly slowly. I’m from Indiana and related to the rural life that is depicted so lyrically, but sometimes it droned on and on. [She brought the fork down through the crust and peaches to the plate then lifted the fork to her mouth and brought her lips around the fork. She chewed four times and swallowed...] Sweet mercy! Just say she took a dang bite of pie!

6 people found this helpful

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Stunning

I loved this quiet, exquisite book that felt more like mediation than “reading.” The descriptions of Zorrie’s life on her farm, the gardening, her friendships, the day to dayness of ordinary life are lovely reminders that happiness and gratitude lie in the every day.

1 person found this helpful