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Horse : New from the Pulitzer Prize winning author - Geraldine Brooks
Best of 2022

Horse

New from the Pulitzer Prize winning author

By: Geraldine Brooks

Hardcover | 15 June 2022 | Edition Number 1

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From the Pulitzer Prize winning author of March and People of the Book comes a vivid and unique new novel for lovers of sweeping historical fiction and books about iconic racehorses like Seabiscuit and Secretariat

'He tilted his desk lamp so that the light fell on the image. The head of a bright bay colt gazed out of the canvas, the expression in the eyes unusual and haunting.'

A discarded painting in a roadside clean-up, forgotten bones in a research archive, and Lexington, the greatest racehorse in US history. From these strands of fact, Geraldine Brooks weaves a sweeping story of spirit, obsession and injustice across American history.

Kentucky, 1850. An enslaved groom named Jarret and a bay foal forge a bond of understanding that will carry the horse to record-setting victories across the South, even as the nation reels towards war. An itinerant young artist who makes his name from paintings of the horse takes up arms for the Union and reconnects with the stallion and his groom on a perilous night far from the glamour of any racetrack.

New York City, 1954. Martha Jackson, a gallery owner celebrated for taking risks on edgy contemporary painters, becomes obsessed with a nineteenth-century equestrian oil painting of mysterious provenance.

Washington, DC, 2019. Jess, a Smithsonian scientist from Australia, and Theo, a Nigerian-American art historian, find themselves unexpectedly connected through their shared interest in the horse - one studying the stallion's bones for clues to his power and endurance, the other uncovering the lost history of the unsung Black horsemen who were critical to his racing success.

With the moral complexity of March and a multi-stranded narrative reminiscent of People of the Book, this enthralling novel is a gripping reckoning with the legacy of enslavement and racism in America. Horse is the latest masterpiece from a writer with a prodigious talent for bringing the past to life.
Industry Reviews
'Geraldine Brooks' soulful tour de force ... The storytelling is magical and so too are the characters, whose pleasure and pain we feel intensely'
The Australian Women's Weekly

'Bring[s] to light the way that race and power are encoded into everyday interactions ... a deeply compassionate novel'
Weekend Australian

'With tender precision, Horse shows us history in flux'
The Guardian

'A novel infused with love, loss and shared history ... Brooks has a knack for writing historical fiction that plugs into the zeitgeist'
The Age

'Brooks' chronological and cross-disciplinary leaps are thrilling... [Horse] is really a book about the power and pain of words... Lexington is ennobled by art and science, and roars back from obscurity to achieve the high status of metaphor'
New York Times Book Review

'[A] sweeping tale ... fluid, masterful storytelling ... [Brooks] writes about our present in such a way that the tangled roots of history, just beneath the story, are both subtle and undeniable'
MAGGIE SHIPSTEAD, Washington Post

'Brooks [has an] almost clairvoyant ability to conjure up the textures of the past and of each character's inner life ... Her felicitous, economical style and flawless pacing carries us briskly yet unhurriedly along. And the novel's alternating narratives, by suspending time, also intensify suspense'
Wall Street Journal

'Historical fiction at its finest, connecting threads of the past with the present to illuminate that essentially human something'
Good Housekeeping

'Geraldine Brooks is one of our most gifted historical novelists'
Boston Globe

'I love this book so much'
ANN PATCHETT

'With exceptional characterisations Brooks tells an emotionally impactful tale'
Booklist starred review

'Brooks probes our understanding of history to reveal the power structures that create both the facts and the fiction ... [She] has penned a clever and richly detailed novel'
Library Journal starred review

'Brooks' deep empathy as a novelist and her ability to make the past feel as tangible as yesterday make Horse more than the story of a remarkable thoroughbred ... Brooks' new novel is a promise fulfilled'
Books+Publishing

'Strong storytelling in service of a stinging moral message'
Kirkus Reviews starred review

'Astonishing ... This is a huge book, with enormous themes, beautifully and engagingly written. Expect it on all the prize lists this year. Brilliant!'
Readings

'Historically rich and morally insistent, Horse is a novel of America's inescapable legacies'
The Guardian