Picky Hunting: A Journal of the Plague Year
Novel. Picky Hunting: A Journal of the Plague Year finds Picky Hunting, a retired Jewish psychoanalyst with a strong background in English Literature (B.A. and M.A. from the University of Chicago) and a recent widow, fleeing the Chicago area where she’s lived all her life, to resettle in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She hopes to find solace in nature, study Indigenous culture, write, pursue photography, and may even develop a new love interest. Within six months of her arrival, however, the march of His Evil Majesty COVID XIX through the world forces a lockdown in her adopted state. Just beginning to make friends, join a NewComers Club, travel, discover superb cuisine, enjoy musical concerts, and respond to online dating postings, the forced isolation suddenly blunts her drive toward new experiences and companionship. Her loneliness is abated to some extent by her two Black & White scotch label-looking dogs. Soon, Picky sees an opportunity. Inspired by Daniel Defoe’s Journal of the Plague Year (1722), Katherine Anne Porter’s Pale Horse, Pale Rider (1939), and Albert Camus’ The Plague (1947), Picky decides to hone her writing skills by daily tracking her life during the terrible reigns of “COVID XIX” and President Donald “Immanent Baboon” Trump. Throughout, Picky is haunted by the death of her husband (suicide or murder?), by his memory and continuing influence. Can she move past her past and open herself to love again?
James Hugunin is emeritus faculty from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago where he taught art history and contemporary theory for over 35 years. In 1976, he founded the much praised L. A. art journal The Dumb Ox. In 1983, he won the Reva and David Logan Award for Distinguished New Writing in Photography. Besides his extensive critical writings, since 2012 he’s authored several books of award-winning experimental fiction. He is a member of the Society of Midland Authors. He now resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico with his psychoanalyst wife, Marianne.