Webpage of Michelle Huneven, novelist. Author of Round Rock, Jamesland, Blame, and Off Course.
Barnes and Nobles
Huneven is an audacious novelist, casting the narrative light evenly on various idiosyncratic characters while summoning the generationally and culturally distinct voices of a diverse population. She forfeits fashionable audience-protagonist cathexis for a more complex portrayal of multiple situations and relationships, thereby introducing readers to this tight, fractious community as if they were newcomers, free to form their own fresh allegiances. Round Rock is a textured drama of individual and cultural history, a promising debut from a writer of moral nerve, sharp wit and uncommon generosity.
Like that other West Coast chronicler of struggling Americans, Raymond Carver, she’s determined to tell the story straight. She is not interested in literary pretension or postmodern razzle-dazzle, but in achieving a measure of truth—and her generous, engaging novel does just that.
The small California town of Rito, situated in the San Bernita Valley, is the kind of place that attracts dreamers, like the early settlers who made fortunes as citrus farmers. It’s also a place where people seem to wash up after life’s wrecks. . . .Huneven’s remarkably confident first novel is strengthened by a strong sense of place and a cast of vivid characters.