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Hazel: A Novel by David Huddle

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This is David Huddle’s 21st book. It is the retrospective story of an eccentric old Vermont spinster. “Long one of the true masters of American fiction, David Huddle here shows himself at the height of his powers. Hazel stuns us, for one thing, by its capacity to arouse affection for the title character, who, abstractly described, would seem to invite dislike. . . . To call the novel’s narrative strategy ‘inventive’ would almost amount to an insult, so dazzling and persuasive is its delivery of this truth.” – Sydney Lea.  "David Huddle introduces Ms. Hazel Hicks, a maiden lady of a certain age, and as improbable a literary hero as has come along in many years. Hazel puts the lone in loner. She is eccentric, solitary, severe, humorless, discontented, self-absorbed, and nearly invisible to others in her family and milieu. Hazel s would seem to be the life story of one who has no life. Nevertheless, owing to her creator's utterly assured, sympathetic, multifaceted storytelling, she is never a tragic figure, or even a pitiable one. Rather, she appears with the contradictions, self-inflicted wounds, (and blessings) the reader recognizes as belonging to life. Don't miss Hazel Hicks. She may try you, she may frustrate you, she may exasperate you. But you will not forget her." --Castle Freeman, Jr. David Huddle was born and raised in Ivanhoe, a Virginia company town on the New River. He served in the Army from 1964 until 1967, and graduated from the University of Virginia, subsequently earning degrees from Hollins College in Roanoke and Columbia University. He was a professor at the University of Vermont or 38 years and then taught at Hollins and Austin Peay University in Tennessee.  He still teaches at Bread Loaf and the Sewanee Writers Conference and lives in Burlington, Vermont, where he enjoys taking pictures of birds.

North Adams, Massachusetts: Tupelo Press, 2019. 196 pages. Trade paperback.