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Why Do Horses Run? - Cameron Stewart

Why Do Horses Run?

By: Cameron Stewart

Paperback | 30 April 2024

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A lyrical and profound debut novel that celebrates the kindness of strangers and those living in pain who recognise that in others.

'Tender and humane, a haunting debut.' Tim Winton, author of Cloudstreet

He walked not feeling he was connected to the earth, but on the edge of something he couldn't reach. He pushed on through mist and darkness and clutched the blanket tight under his neck with his bony fist. Nothing in the darkness could scare him. He was darkness itself.

Missing in every sense of the word, a man walks into the landscape and doesn't stop. In all weather and across all kinds of terrain, Ingvar walks until he can go no further, then gets up and does it again the following day, week after week, month after month. For three years he doesn't know why he keeps going, or whether he is walking towards something or away from it.

Until he comes to a remote tropical valley harbouring secrets and misfits. There a recently widowed woman, Hilda, allows Ingvar to live in a shed on her property. He hasn't spoken for three years and Hilda chats frequently with her dead husband, but somehow they tolerate each other as they both struggle with the haunting impact of their pasts and grief that won't let them go.

Steeped in mystery and foreboding, Why Do Horses Run? asks crucial questions about love and loss, and what might make a person never want to be found. Simple, profound, transformative and deeply moving, this indelible debut explores the propensity of the natural world to both heal and harm, as well as the ineradicable power of kindness and community.

Why Do Horses Run? depicts the darkest aspects of life with frankness, humour and lyrical brilliance. It is a novel that will stay with you.
'Vivid and compelling. Walking into the landscape alone and seeking erasure inevitably brings life into clearer definition.' Inga Simpson, author of The Last Woman in the World

'Wise, exquisite, unforgettable and almost radically courageous, Why Do Horses Run? will leave you gasping - at the shocks that keep coming, and the generosity on every page. How rare it is to read a novel of such unashamed hope.' Nigel Featherstone, author of My Heart is a Little Wild Thing

'Reading this novel is like being immersed in the Australian landscape . . . I feel every drop of rain, hear every cockatoo that passes overhead. But the novel concerns much more than the natural world, which in any case is ultimately as dangerous as it is comforting-it is a lament for lost family, an acknowledgement of human resilience, and a tribute to the surprising kindness of strangers. Above all, this story of a man warily renegotiating the world, shows how much people still need each other, despite desperately wanting to run away.' Debra Adelaide, author of The Household Guide to Dying and Zebra

About the Author

Cameron Stewart is a writer based in Sydney, Australia. He grew up on farm near Mullumbimby, by way of Alice Springs, Canberra and Cairns. Diversity of place informs much of his writing as does an interest in flawed characters trying to do their best. Cameron holds an MA (Creative Writing) from the University of Technology, Sydney and a BA (Performing Arts) from the University of Western Sydney (Theatre Nepean). Cameron is an award winning, short fiction writer and has been published in Australia, the UK and the USA. Why Do Horses Run? is Cameron's debut novel. He is currently working on his second novel, Cosmonaut.

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