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About the Author
Melanie Finn, author of Away From You (2004), The Gloaming(2016), The Underneath (2018), and The Hare (2021), was born and raised in Kenya and the US. The Gloaming was a New York Times Notable Book of 2016, a finalist for the Vermont Book Award and The Guardian's "Not the Booker" Prize. The writer and producer of the DisneyNature wildlife epic Crimson Wing: Mystery of the Flamingos, she is also the co-founder and director of the Tanzanian-based charity Natron Healthcare. She and her family live on a remote hill in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.
Find out more on the author's website: www.melaniefinn.com.
Most Anticipated Books of the Year --Molly Young, Vulture
The Best Books of Winter 2021 --K.W. Colyard, Bustle
Most Highly Anticipated Books of 2021 --Arianna Rebolini, BuzzFeed
Most Anticipated Books of 2021 --Lauren Puckett, Elle
[An] involving, morally complex novel... Rosie is a difficult character, full of anger, generosity and self-doubt, and her muddle is the stuff of true tragedy.
--Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal
[The Hare] shimmers with a stark loveliness... Finn is unafraid to address big moral questions--what D. H. Lawrence might write, if he lived in a world of Brett Kavanaugh hearings, cars with crushing repair bills and secret child pornography websites.
--Lisa Zeidner, The Washington Post
In this brooding feminist thriller, a former art student and her daughter are isolated in a rural Vermont cabin and have to contend with the toxic presence of an unbalanced con man in their lives.
--New York Times
This is a page-turner about a tough woman and her con-artist lout of a partner, and I will eat my laptop if it doesn't get optioned for TV or film the minute it hits bookshelves. It is also woven through with ideas about feminism, parenting, narcissism, and self-sufficiency--a book that is easy to read without being remotely lightweight.
--Molly Young, Vulture
A sharp portrait of a woman doing what she needs to do... Finn deftly shows how abuse echoes on in a person's life, changing tone, growing louder and softer, and reverberating into the future. The book knives into questions of power, of resolve, of seduction, of survival.
--Nina MacLaughlin, The Boston Globe
Art student Rosie is so dazzled by Bennett that she doesn't realize the extent of his cons--until he leaves her destitute in the wilderness of Vermont. There she survives with the help of a neighbor who sticks by her, even when the worst comes. A slow-boil thriller about perseverance and the power of friendship.
--Wendy Naugle, People Magazine
I have read the book to beat this year... I do not want to misconstrue The Hare as a political book or imply that the book's merits lie in its many congruencies with the political and social climate of our times. It can be political, and it does reflect repugnant political and social times much too well--but The Hare should be read because it is a damn good book. The plot is riveting, with unexpected twists and a climax that is not to be missed, and the characters are so skillfully drawn: relatable, loveable, hateable and totally unforgettable. Finn has created a perfect and original novel--however you want to characterize it--that belongs on any serious reader's shelf.
--Lisa Grgas, The Literary Review
Finn's writing--with vivid descriptions of Vermont mud and menopausal hot flashes--is nothing short of stellar. The Hare contemplates a woman's inherent sense of obligation and is especially relevant amid the #MeToo movement. The story, meanwhile, is unpredictable and unputdownable, culminating in an unforgettable final image that I'm not going to spoil here.
--Suzanne Perez, KMUW / NPR Wichita
Between Bennett's faux-WASP history and Rosie's determination to survive, The Hare has a lot, and maybe even enough, going on. But Finn chooses to place the second half of the book in Rosie's future, a 2019 where she is a 54-year-old bookkeeper, still living in the Vermont cabin--and trying to answer Miranda's questions about why their lives have taken this shape.
--Bethanne Patrick, Lit Hub, 5 Books You May Have Missed in January
This is a gripping literary thriller with writing so good you'll want to bookmark multiple passages.
--Arianna Rebolini, BuzzFeed, 8 Books Out This Week That We Can't Stop Talking About
Bookin' Podcast Episode 120 w/ Melanie Finn 2/22/2021This week, Melanie Finn joins host Jason Jefferies to talk about her new novel The Hare, which is published by our friends at Two Dollar Radio. Topics of discussion include the intersection between (visual) art and literature, celebrity encounters, Steely Dan, Donald Trump, victims of sexual assault, money, whether James Joyce is just Hemingway in a frilly shirt, the Two Dollar Radio tattoo club, and much more.
Marginalia Podcast: Melanie Finn On A Woman's Inherent Sense Of Obligation 2/16/2021
Beth Golay spoke with Finn, author of the 2021 novel The Hare about how her own experience parallels that of her protagonist, Rosie Monroe, and how one learns that actions have consequences.
VPR's Mitch Wertlieb interview with Melanie Finn about The Hare 2/12/2021
In her new novel, The Hare, Northeast Kingdom author Melanie Finn chronicles Rose's survival in a society defined by inequalities of gender, wealth and privilege. Listen to the interview to find out how the author's life in rural northern Vermont informed the writing of her newest novel.
Melanie Finn contributes to the Writers Recommend Series, Poets & Writers: The Hare author Melanie Finn recommends
As angry and unflinching as it is tender, Melanie Finn's The Hare is the tale of trapped womanhood--and all the violence and desperation that goes into escaping it. Protagonist Rosie trails her lover, the wealthy con man Bennett, to Vermont, only for his betrayal to leave her vulnerable and alone. Hardened by poverty and freezing winters, she grows into a wise but bitter woman slowly inching toward something like freedom.
--Lauren Puckett, Elle, Most Anticipated Books of 2021
Finn offers a chilling account of the ways women can be abused, with sexual assault, psychological trauma, objectification, and murder crossing class boundaries. Yet as she also shows, women often cannot escape the cages they have helped to build around their lives. A #MeToo tale that will also appeal to general readers.
--Joanna Burkhardt, Library Journal, highly recommended
[Finn]'s stories are beautiful and have a dark, suspenseful feel that will appeal to fans of literary mysteries... Finn also moves between cosmopolitan and rural settings in an interesting way as she shares the story of a young woman who becomes involved with and is later abandoned by a wealthy older man."
--Sarah Brown (Subterranean Books), St. Louis Magazine, 10 Must-reads for 2021 by Jen Roberts
After falling in love with an older man, art student Rosie finds herself living a survivalist lifestyle to keep her small daughter, Miranda, alive. Abandoned in a wilderness cabin for weeks at a time, Rosie and Miranda forge a new and different kind of existence. But when their family patriarch reenters the picture, bringing treachery to their doorstep, wife and mother Rosie must make a harrowing choice in Melanie Finn's The Hare.
--K.W. Colyard, Bustle, The most anticipated books of January 2021
The Hare's main character, Rosie, could be any of us. Imperfect yet formidable, she confronts patriarchy and expectations of womanhood in this smart... literary thriller.
--Karla Strand, Ms. Magazine
Finn's achievement lies in creating a character whose lifelong grappling with her body becomes a specific, believable experience of feminist womanhood, one that continues to surprise the reader through the novel's final pages.
--Amy Lilly, Seven Days
Finn manages this complex three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle with great skill. Poverty and wealth, sexuality and gender, a woman's body and the demands and limits that society places upon it, child abuse and pedophilia, the ethics of stealing and killing all swirl around this narrative... I look forward to her next book with great anticipation.
--Michael F. Epstein, Brattleboro Reformer
Entrancing... [The Hare] is a thrilling story that sucks readers in almost immediately, its protagonist as fascinating as she is flawed.
--Lauren Puckett, Shelf Awareness
The Hare gives us an important, comprehensive picture of the stages of a woman's learning, suggesting, that over time, teachers will be rejected, new ones sought, and the student might herself become a teacher. The need to adapt, however, to be on guard, to figure out new methods of surviving will be life-long, the way it is for an animal in the wild, hyper-conscious of its vulnerability.
--Marta Balcewicz, Ploughshares
The Hare themes are timeless, but its particulars are so topical it feels like it was written yesterday: it's informed by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanagh's confirmation hearings into allegations of sexual assault and the casual, insidious misogyny that gave rise to the #MeToo movement, as well as the power dynamics of gender and class.
--Nathalie Atkinson, EverythingZoomer, 11 of the most intriguing fiction titles (January 2021)
Melanie Finn's new psychological thriller about a woman navigating the world of men while trying to protect those she loves will certainly inspire a sense of urgency and a cheer for the underdog in anyone who dives into it.
--Mariko Hewer, Washington Independent Review of Books
Finn's prose has a painful beauty to it, the allure of the writing illuminated by the subtle horror of the plot... The Hare is the type of book you will appreciate even more after stepping away and reflecting upon it, as the tale lingers in the back of your mind.
--Beth Mowbray, The Nerd Daily
Following Rosie's story through the decades, The Hare is a critical examination of one woman's struggle not only to survive but also to rear her daughter in such a way as to protect her from the same hardships Rosie herself has undergone.
--Doreen Sheridan, Criminal Element
The Hare is a modern The Awakening. I'm convinced it'll go down as a modern feminist classic.
--Mandy Shunnarah, Off the Beaten Shelf
This thought-provoking literary thriller... brilliantly depicts the effects of patriarchy on women and their sense of duty to please men. This resilient heroine embodies the evolution of feminism in a male-dominant society, making this a poignant story for our time.
--Emily Park, Booklist starred review
An elegant writer of unconventional thrillers, Finn has a gift for weaving existential and political concerns through tautly paced prose.
--Molly Young, Vulture, Books We Can't Wait to Read in 2021
The initial setting in the luxurious boathouse makes you feel as though you are floating through an impressionist painting, giving Finn eager permission to drown you in a world where all the edges have been smoothed over by the easy glaze of wealth... The Hare is a novel that soars whimsically and lands with an unexpected stab in the palm of your hand; like a paper crane with a razor blade folded into its belly.
--Andrea Dreiling, Paperback Paris
A story about the male gaze, about sexual obligation, about how much power we are granted as women. Daring and unputdownable, The Hare is set to be one of the most talked-about books of 2021.
--Jenny Hollander, Marie Claire
Reminiscent of Amina Cain or Barbara Comyns, The Hare follows Rosie Monroe as she is scooped out of her blue-collar existence by a dazzling, older man and pulled into the glitzy world of 1980s New York... A thrilling story suffused with all rage of a feminist awakening.
--Book Culture Bookstore, Our Most Anticipated Books of January 2021
The Hare is a bold and authentic novel concerned with the time-consuming, socially defiant, and brutal work of women's self-actualization.
--Michelle Anne Schingler, Foreword Reviews
Finn's propulsive latest tackles power dynamics shaped by gender, age, and class via the harrowing story of an art school dropout who is seduced by a man who turns out to be a thieving con artist... This lurid tale will keep readers turning the pages.
Finn is a master of complication made visible through taut and beautiful words. I highly recommend this book.
--Samantha Kolber, New Pages Blog
Rosie has to make tough choices throughout her life in order to ensure both she and her daughter Miranda survive. The Hare was a fast read... I don't envy Rosie and the many woman out there who have had to make similar choices.
--Lisa Day, NewmarketToday
A New York art student's love affair with a much-older man leaves her raising a daughter in an unheated Vermont cabin.
--K.W. Colyard, Bustle, The Best Books of Winter 2021
The Hare is about Rosie's life, her survival, her coming to terms with herself and finding courage. It's art. Art at its truest, rawest, and prettiest. It's an experience you feel in your bones. It's something you live. Something you breathe in and exhale... I loved The Hare. I cannot put it any better. I adored it.
--Rain R, The Withering Blog
This is the story of Rosie. The one in Massachusetts who was in art school. The story of Rosie who met the wrong man, lived for a while in a fancy estate in Connecticut just long enough for a girl to be born, and was then hustled off to hide in the woods -- to lead a rough life with a wood stove for cooking and not much else. She and Miranda were left to fend for themselves while the wrong man traveled "who knows where" in search of "who knows what." But life went on and is recorded in the pages of this beautifully written literary triumph that you will want to treasure once you've dipped inside. It's full of art and female ideas and the kind of perseverance that lifts the spirit. I envy you your discovery.
--Linda Bond, Auntie's Bookstore (Spokane, WA)
First must-read of 2021! Melanie Finn's The Hare is just the right blend of suspense and literary prowess, and it's perfect for a snowed-in January day. Rosie, Finn's protagonist, who we get to spend time with for thirty-plus years, spends the book haunted by her past. Childhood trauma blends into the sexual, artistic expectation and obligation of early adulthood, into early motherhood survival, into middle-aged motherhood and a reassertion of individualism, and so on. Her evolution is fascinating, her resolve is inspiring, and her journey is both extraordinary and all too common to so many women who experience everyday sexism and sexual trauma throughout their lives. This is an unflinchingly honest portrayal of a woman who was denied the chance to become the woman she imagined in her youth, but thirty years later, is finally ready to try again.
--Margaret Leonard, Dotters Books (Eau Claire, Wisconsin)
A beautiful and powerful book--literature that reads like a thriller. It follows the arc of a woman's life and how it was shaped for better or worse by the awful men that surrounded her. It tackles big issues in an original way.
--Alana Haley, Schuler Books (Grand Rapids and Okemos, Michigan)
Rosie Monroe, the protagonist of The Hare, is every woman and Everywoman. She battles her past, classism, sexism and her own pre-conceived notions of what power is. Her story is compelling in and of itself, but it is elevated to literature by Finn's evocative and sometimes hair-raising prose. Bottom line this is a powerful book and a powerful character, I was cheering for Rosie the whole way.
--Kim Crady-Smith, Green Mountain Books and Prints (Lyndonville, VT)
With The Hare, Melanie Finn has written a powerful story of female perseverance, strength, and resilience. This book has rare qualities: beautiful writing while being absolutely unputdownable, and I will be pressing it into the hands of every reader I know.
--Claire Fuller, author of Our Endless Numbered Days, Swimming Lessons, Bitter Orange, and Unsettled Ground
The Hare begins in dread, with a speeding car, and an older man and young naïve woman heading into the darkness. Nothing good can come of this, you think, but Melanie Finn surprises again and again. As harrowing as the novel is, page by page, the prose is luminous as it follows Rosie's survival in the danger and beauty of the far north. The Hare is a brilliant, unflinching tale of gender, power, and entrapment.
--Maria Hummel, author of Still Lives, Motherland, House and Fire