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W&L Hosts 19th Annual Tom Wolfe Weekend The weekend’s seminar will feature Tess Gunty discussing her debut novel, “The Rabbit Hutch.”

twws-the-rabbit-hutch-gunty-headshot-c-lauren-alexandra-scaled-286x350 W&L Hosts 19th Annual Tom Wolfe Weekend

Washington and Lee University will host its 19th annual Tom Wolfe Weekend April 26-27. The weekend’s seminar will feature Tess Gunty, author of “The Rabbit Hutch.”

Registration is required for Friday evening’s reception and dinner and Saturday’s luncheon; it can be accessed online here. The keynote address, lectures and panel discussion are free and open to the public.

Gunty will present the keynote address at 4 p.m. on April 26 in Northen Auditorium in Leyburn Library, followed by a Q&A session and book signing. The talk is free and open to the public and will be streamed online. Please contact lifelong@wlu.edu to request access to the livestream.

In “The Rabbit Hutch,” her debut novel, Gunty weaves a tapestry of characters living in Vacca Vale, Indiana, a Midwestern city in decline. The novel’s focus is four young adults sharing an affordable housing unit after aging out of the foster care system. It highlights the oppressive nature of modern life and coping mechanisms that range from the mundane to the eccentric, challenging readers to consider the consequences of capitalism, environmental degradation and sexual power dynamics.

Gunty has received numerous accolades for “The Rabbit Hutch,” including the 2022 National Book Award, the Waterstones Debut Fiction Prize and the Barnes & Noble Discover Prize. The book was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize and the British Book Award for Début Fiction. In 2023, it was named to the shortlist for the Mark Twain American Voice in Literature Award. Gunty was selected as a 2023 fellow at MacDowell, and her work has appeared in “The Iowa Review,” Literary Hub, “Joyland,” “Freeman’s,” “The Los Angeles Review of Books” and elsewhere.

Joining Gunty in the programming on April 27 are W&L faculty members Genelle Gertz, the Thomas H. Broadus, Jr. Professor of English and associate dean of strategic initiatives, and Diego Millan, assistant professor of English and core faculty in Africana studies. Gertz will present a talk titled “What do the mystics have to do with it? Body, presence and miracle in Tess Gunty’s ‘The Rabbit Hutch’” at 9 a.m. in Leyburn 119, followed by Millan’s presentation on “Laughter, transcendence and the ties that bind us in Tess Gunty’s ‘The Rabbit Hutch’” at 10:30 a.m., also in Leyburn 119. Gertz, Millan and Gunty will then gather for a panel discussion about “The Rabbit Hutch” at 11:30 a.m. on April 27 in Leyburn 119.

Learn more about the programming and view the schedule of events here.

The Tom Wolfe Weekend is sponsored by the W&L Class of 1951.

rabbit-hutch-cover-400x600 W&L Hosts 19th Annual Tom Wolfe Weekend