The Crazy Hunter - Kay Boyle

Pushkin Press


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The Crazy Hunter by Kay Boyle / ISBN 9781782279464 / 158-page paperback published in the Pushkin Press Classics series


A rediscovered Modernist gem: a lushly written short novel of roiling family tension on an English farm, back in print for the first time in decades

‘Few writers have been more skilled at conveying an underlying emotional violence imperfectly concealed’ Margaret Atwood

Caught between her powerful mother and yielding, drunken father, seventeen-year-old Nan longs to leave the family farm. When her father gifts her a magnificent gelding, Nan relishes her small freedom - until the horse is blinded in an accident, and Nan’s mother insists he be put down. A battle over the animal’s fate begins, in which old family tensions threaten to explode.

First published in 1938, The Crazy Hunter is the finest work by a significant Modernist writer and a key figure 1920s and 30s Paris literary scene. Bristling with tension, it is an electrifying short novel – psychologically astute, morally complex and written with heady intensity.

Kay Boyle (1902-1992) was an American writer, educator and political activist. Following her youth and education in Philadelphia, Cincinnati and New York, Boyle moved to France in 1923, where she would remain until 1941. She became an important figure in the literary scene there, publishing in small magazines alongside Hemingway, Joyce and Stein. She was twice awarded Guggenheim fellowships and won two O. Henry Awards for best short story of the year. On returning to the US, Boyle continued writing and worked as a foreign correspondent for the New Yorker. A victim of 1950s McCarthyism, Boyle was blacklisted from most major magazines, and in 1963 she took a teaching job in San Francisco. She became increasingly involved in political activism and was once imprisoned alongside Joan Baez for a protest at the height of the Vietnam War. A fierce advocate for justice and equality until the end of her life, Boyle died in California aged 90.

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