Hellsmouth, a wilful thoroughbred filly, has the legacy of a family riding on her. The Forges: one of the oldest and proudest families in Kentucky; descended from the first settlers to brave the Wilderness Road; as mythic as the history of the South itself – and now, first-time horse breeders. Through an act of naked ambition, Henry Forge is attempting to blaze this new path on the family's crop farm. His daughter, Henrietta, becomes his partner in the endeavour but has desires of her own.
When Allmon Shaughnessy, an African American man fresh from prison, comes to work in the stables, the ugliness of the farm's history rears its head. Together through sheer will, the three stubbornly try to create a new future – one that isn't determined by Kentucky's bloody past – while they mould Hellsmouth into a champion. The Sport of Kings has the force of an epic. A majestic story of speed and hunger, racism and justice, this novel is an astonishment from start to finish.
About the Author
C. E. Morgan studied English and voice at Berea College and holds a master's in theological studies from Harvard Divinity School. She is the author of All the Living (2009) and a recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award. In 2010, she was named by The New Yorker as one of their 20 Under 40. She lives in Kentucky.
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Comments about The Sport of Kings:
Imaginative, surprising, raw and intriguing - lyrical prose that is sharp savage and emotional - perhaps my book of the year!
'CE Morgan has delivered a masterpiece. Rich, deep, and ambitious, this book is, by any standard, a Great American Novel' Philipp Meyer, author of The Son and American Rust 'In this century, the finest "major" novels have more often than not been written by women. Zadie Smith, Donna Tartt, Eleanor Catton, Meg Wolitzer and Elena Ferrante are among those hitting the long balls in contemporary fiction, and with The Sport of Kings, a world-encompassing colossus second novel, C. E. Morgan has joined their ranks ... Morgan is a virtuoso stylist ...There will not be a novel with a larger and more dazzlingly deployed vocabulary published this year ... Constantly invigorating, surprising and transfixing' TLS 'A high literary epic of America. Long and dense, violent and strident ... portentous ... majestic' Sunday Telegraph 'That Morgan's second novel is an achievement is beyond doubt ... Morgan barely draws breath as she chronicles the fortunes of Henry Forge' Observer 'Fich and compulsive ... This epic feat of storytelling confirms Morgan as the new torchbearer of the Southern Gothic tradition ... She is such an immersive storyteller, with such a vivid sense of place, such a true ear for dialogue, and so subtle a gift of characterisation ... Her prose is often ravishingly beautiful, displaying an unerring instinct for metaphor and music ... By the time I was 100 pages in, my English cynicism at the spectacle of another author setting out to write the Great American Novel had dissolved into wonder and delight: C.E. Morgan has come close to realising that very thing' Financial Times 'Morgan's novel is big news ... think of Hanya Yanagihara's A Little Life' The Sunday Times 'There were moments while reading this sprawling, ambitious novel when I thought I was reading a masterpiece ... At times my compulsion to read on was like a physical force' Spectator
Number Of Pages: 560
Published: 26th April 2016
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.6 x 15.5 x 4.1
Weight (kg): 0.7