Independent Book Review honors the best book they’ve reviewed over the last thirty days as the IBR Book of the Month. For April, Annie Hartnett takes the cake–rabbit style. You can read our original review of Rabbit Cake (Tin House Books, 2017) here or enjoy our interview with Annie Hartnett below.
Questions Readers Want to Know:
IBR: Annie, thank you so much for sharing Rabbit Cake with us. Our readers at Independent Book Review had an incredible time flying through its pages, urged-on by Elvis’s hilarious voice and the novel’s consistently building storyline. We’re curious though—what was the first idea that made you begin this project?
IBR: Rabbit Cake must have required hours of research. From animal sleeping habits to sleepwalking, Elvis could inform the reader of fun facts galore. It made us wonder: Did you bake or eat any rabbit cakes for your research? If so, how were they?
IBR: The grieving process looks different to each and every one of your characters in the novel. But one thing that stood out to our readers is that the females and males respond to grieving in drastically different ways: the females springing to action and the men curling inward. Was this something you set out to do, or did your characters’ singular personalities take over?
IBR: Elvis Babbitt manages to tell the story of her grieving family with humor, clarity, and hope. What do you believe that a reader can learn most from a child narrator that they wouldn’t be able to learn from an adult?
IBR: What is one thing that you’d like to tell your readers before they start Rabbit Cake?
Questions Writers Want to Know:
IBR: We believe that writers could learn a lot from this novel: voice, structure, description, and way more. It seems like Rabbit Cake came out of your head as an already finished product. But how long did it take for you to complete, and how much did it change before and after Katie Grimm and Masie Cochran got to it?
IBR: The characters feel real in Rabbit Cake—and not just the humans. From a dog named Boomer to a parrot named Ernest Hemingway, what advice could you give a writer for creating sympathetic and entertaining animals in fiction?
IBR: Has your writing or your writing process changed since the publication of your first novel?
|Annie Hartnett is a 2013 graduate of the MFA program at the University of Alabama, a 2011 graduate of the Bread Loaf School of English, and a 2008 graduate of Hamilton College. Annie was the 2013-2014 Writer-in-Residence for the Associates of the Boston Public Library. She currently teaches classes on the novel and the short story at Grub Street, an independent writing center in Boston. She is currently at work on her second novel. Annie is represented by Katie Grimm of Don Congdon Associates, Inc. Annie lives in Providence, RI with her husband and their border collie.|
|Purchase Rabbit Cake from Annie’s Local Bookstore: Books on the Square (Providence, RI)|
|External Interview with Annie Hartnett: “We Were Weird Kids”|
|Author Essay: “Comfort Food: The Importance of Reading Aloud as Adults” (The Millions)|
|Other Reviews: Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, Boston Globe|
|Reader Questionnaire: “Tin House Galley Club: Rabbit Cake”|
|Excerpt: Chapter 1|
For a chance to win IBR’s Book of the Month contest, get your book reviewed here.