Horse Girls: Recovering, Aspiring, and Devoted Riders Redefine the Iconic Bond

Edited by Halimah Marcus. Harper Perennial, $17 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-0-06-300925-7
Electric Literature editor Marcus collects reflections on the “horse girl” in this dynamic anthology. The “horse girl,” as Marcus describes in her introduction, is a stereotype for adolescent girls who like horses: she’s “friendly and enthusiastic and [has] no sense of irony,” and the 14 essays that follow use the horse-human bond as a starting place to examine gender, sexuality, race, class, and the tension between domestication and liberation. In “Horse Girl: An Inquiry,” Carmen Maria Machado outlines her childhood desire to own and ride horses despite the fact that, according to the trope, such girls are usually white, heterosexual, wealthy, and feminine. Alex Marzano-Lesnevich, meanwhile, skillfully recounts in “Hungry and Carefree” trans and nonbinary riders of the past, along with their own personal reflections on girlhood, and “Unconquered” sees Braudie Blais-Billie musing on horses as a symbol of Indigenous resilience and survival. The essays are tender, critical, and deeply personal, and the universal themes of growth and belonging come through consistently but, refreshingly, never feel repetitive. Eminently thoughtful and fascinatingly intimate, this goes a long way toward shattering a stereotype. Agent: Sarah Bowlin, Aevitas Creative Management. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 05/03/2021
Release date: 08/03/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 288 pages - 978-0-06-300926-4
Compact Disc - 978-1-6651-0058-8
MP3 CD - 978-1-6651-0059-5
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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