Who are Huxley and Hiro?
Not surprisingly, a lot of people ask us, "Who are Huxley and Hiro?" We could say that we named the store after Aldous Huxley and Hiro Arikawa, but that's not exactly the story. Huxley (named after the author) and Hiro are actually the beloved pets belonging to the store's founding partners. The name just sounded "right" to us--plus, we like to think that even though cats and dogs often clash with each other, they can love each other, too--a philosophy that we want our store to embrace: something for everyone, despite our differences.
Huxley is a toddler-sized Maine Coon born in North Carolina on May 19, 2018. After adopting founding partner Claire and her husband Jason, he moved to Portland, Oregon with her. Keep an eye out for him in the third floor bay window above the Huxley & Hiro bookstore!
Huxley loves all strangers and enjoys being carried around, as well as role-playing predator vs. prey with his much smaller 8-lb. brother Grayson, though most of all he loves torturing Claire by sitting and looking cute just outside of reach. He has a modest Instagram following at @TheOriginalHuxley.
Hiro is a "woolly" Shiba Inu (aka "doge") who was born in Winlock, Washington on May 12, 2012, and moved in with our founding partner Ryan later that year.
Hiro enjoys being vain and standing just far enough away from people so that they can admire him but not touch him. He also enjoys flaunting his superiority by perching in the window above Market Street, a habit that earned him the nickname "Mayor of Market Street."
When Hiro isn't being aloof, he enjoys strategically destroying toys, fighting with blackberries, hunting rats and squirrels, and avoiding any attempts at grooming.
...and who are Huxley & Hiro's people?
Claire van den Broek
Claire van den Broek, PhD is an Adjunct Professor in Southern New Hampshire University's graduate program in Literature, and she teaches Dutch remotely for the University of Oregon. She also works as a linguist for clients including the Department of Defense, FBI, Delta Airlines, and various universities.
In her free time, she enjoys world travel and dabbles as a literary translator. Her latest work is a translation of East German author Franz Fühmann's Science Fiktion, distributed by the University of Chicago Press.
As a founding partner of Huxley & Hiro, Claire manages daily operations, curation of books, community outreach, and events.
Favorite Book Genre: Literary fiction, especially German, French, and English literature of the long 19th Century
Favorite Authors: Goethe, Kafka, Patrick Süskind, Freud, Amy Tan, Robert Jordan, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Bill Bryson
During the day, Ryan Eanes is a professor of advertising at the Klein College of Media and Communication of Temple University in Philadelphia, but he considers Wilmington "home" and looks forward to moving back to town later this year.
Ryan is also a published author; his first book, Insightful Branding: People-Centric Tactics for Building Brands, was released by academic publishing house Kendall Hunt in early 2023.
Ryan's responsibilities as one of the store's founding partners primarily include maintaining the store's branding and visual marketing strategies, community research and outreach, and managing the store's digital infrastructure, in addition to "anything else that needs to be done."
Favorite Book Genre: Non-fiction, particularly science, social science, and travelogues; "creative non-fiction" biographies and essay collections
Favorite Authors: David Sedaris, Mary Roach, Bill Bryson, Michael Pollan
Jason Reisbick joins Huxley & Hiro with fifteen years of management experience in retail and logistics (as well as four years of experience being managed by Huxley the Maine Coon). He looks forward to sharing his passion for literature with the Wilmington community. In his free time, he enjoys being dragged around the world by his wife, and spending time with his two children.
Favorite Book Genres: Classical mythology and historical fiction
Favorite Authors: David Gemmell, Robert Jordan, Craig Johnson, Martha Wells
Grace McCarthy joins Huxley & Hiro as a passionate reader, a linguist with experience in Korean, Japanese, and Chinese, and an M.A. in English. She brings experience in social media and event management to the team.