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The Rabbit Hutch


Tess Gunty


Winner of the Waterstones Debut Fiction Prize

Winner of the National Book Award for Fiction 2022

A Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award

A Waterstones Book of the Year for 2022

Winner of the Barnes & Noble Discover Prize

An Oprah Daily Book of the Year, 2022


‘Inventive, heartbreaking and acutely funny’ Observer

Vacca Vale, Indiana: recently voted number 1 on Newsweek‘s list of dying American cities. According to the developers, however, it’s a city with a whole history of reinvention, one that ‘buzzes with the American spirit.’

Not everyone agrees though – certainly not the residents of the Rabbit Hutch, a low-cost housing complex in the once bustling industrial centre, populated by a cast of unforgettable, disenfranchised characters. There’s an online obituary writer, a woman waging a solo campaign against rodents and, most notably, eighteen-year-old Blandine, recently released from foster care and determined to stop the developers whatever the cost. 

Set over one sweltering week in July, The Rabbit Hutch is a savagely beautiful and bitingly funny snapshot of contemporary America. Bold, experimental and brilliantly written, it will live in the memory long after the final page. 


The Rabbit Hutch is 2022’s The Secret HistoryThe Big Issue

  • Publication date: June 22, 2023
  • ISBN: 9780861545803
  • RRP: £9.99
  • Pages: 352
  • Publication date: July 21, 2022
  • ISBN: 9780861543656
  • RRP: £16.99
  • Pages: 352
  • Publication date: July 21, 2022
  • ISBN: 9780861543663
  • RRP: £8.99
  • Pages: 304


'Exquisitely written, acutely observed and breathtakingly original. There was not a single page that didn't contain at least one phrase or sentence that I wanted to underline to return to later. Gunty's prose crackles with energy, wit and intent. Reading The Rabbit Hutch is like experiencing a literary hallucination! I loved it!'

Claire McGlasson, author of The Rapture

'Tess Gunty is a masterful talent with a remarkable eye for the poetic, the poignant and the absurdly sublime. The Rabbit Hutch unspools the story of Blandine Watkins and other inhabitants of a rundown building on the edge of the once bustling Vacca Vale, Indiana. A brutal and beautiful novel that both delights and devastates with its unflinching depiction of Rust Belt decline, Gunty's debut is a tour de force that's sure to top this year's best-of lists.' 

Lauren Wilkinson, author of American Spy

'This breathtaking novel centres around the inhabitants of the Rabbit Hutch, a run-down apartment building at the edge of a dying city. Each of the inhabitants have their own challenges, but the four teenagers living there together are especially poised on the brink. Your allegiances will shift and shift again as the plot writhes toward a shocking, but inevitable, conclusion.'

Good Housekeeping, '25 New Summer Books to Add to Your 2022 Reading List'

'Remarkable... Brilliantly imaginative... Gunty is a wonderful writer, a master of the artful phrase... Best of all, her fully realized characters come alive on the page, capturing the reader and not letting go.'

Booklist (starred review)

'A stunning and original debut that is as smart as it is entertaining... With sharp prose and startling imagery, the novel touches on subjects from environmental trauma to rampant consumerism to sexual power dynamics to mysticism to mental illness, all with an astonishing wisdom and imaginativeness.'

Kirkus (starred review)

'Gunty writes with such compassion for her characters as they build their lives and assert their agency in a country that utterly disregards them, and in particular Blandine's bright, fierce curiosity for the world kept me moving through the story; she's a warrior, an intellectual force, a young woman who refuses to be disempowered. This is a skillfully told, beautiful, human story.'

Literary Hub

'Gunty debuts with an astonishing portrait of economically depressed Vacca Vale, Indiana, centered on the residents of a subsidized apartment building nicknamed the Rabbit Hutch... Readers will be breathless.' 

Publisher's Weekly (starred review)

'Mesmerizing… A novel of impressive scope and specificity… One of the pleasures of the narrative is the way it luxuriates in language, all the rhythms and repetitions and seashell whorls of meaning to be extracted from the dull casings of everyday life…  [Gunty] also has a way of pressing her thumb on the frailty and absurdity of being a person in the world; all the soft, secret needs and strange intimacies. The book's best sentences — and there are heaps to choose from — ping with that recognition, even in the ordinary details.'

New York Times Book Review

'As surreal as it is genius… Spanning one week, the novel culminates in a shocking and violent climax that will stay with your long after you turn the last page.'


'A first novel of uncommon power... A character-driven marvel... This is fiction that feels completely new while also pulling together dark impulses and base instincts that are familiar to every one of us. Gunty is doing a lot, and it’s all working. The Rabbit Hutch is a singular and piercing story.'


'Tess Gunty [has an] evocative way with words... Gunty treats The Rabbit Hutch like a wall of glass cages at a pet store and we readers are voyeuristic shoppers peering in...  If you scratch away the layers of surrealism and satire, you find Gunty's practical insight into the meaning of life. It's complicated, hard as hell, and yet beautiful. At its core, The Rabbit Hutch asks us to question what it means to be alive, especially in the age of the internet.'

Oprah Daily

'The Rabbit Hutch is an immersive story that is simultaneously disquieting, thrilling, and deeply moving.'


Tess Gunty

Tess Gunty was born and raised in South Bend, Indiana. She received a B.A. in English with an Honors Concentration in Creative Writing from the University of Notre Dame, where she won the Ernest Sandeen Award for her poetry collection. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from NYU, where she was a Lillian Vernon Fellow, and her work was nominated for the PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers. Her fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Joyland, The Iowa Review, Freeman’s, and other publications, and she lives in Los Angeles.

Author page

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