cover image A Horse at Night: On Writing

A Horse at Night: On Writing

Amina Cain. Dorothy, $16.95 trade paper (136p) ISBN 978-1-948980-13-5

Novelist Cain (Indelicacy) offers a rewarding collection of literary musings, combining personal reflections, criticism, and thoughts on the act of writing. Cain writes that “interiority is one of my favorite things to read in fiction—to abide in a narrator’s mind if that narrator, that mind, compels me—and when you read a diary you have that, ten fold.” Indeed, readers will enjoy abiding in Cain’s mind as she moves gracefully from topics as disparate as solitude (“it’s hard for us to see our own selves if we’re not ever alone”), darkness (“maybe we get closer to something in the dark, or maybe it’s the opposite”), pets (“We are both neurotic,” she writes of her cat, Trout), and art (“How strange and sometimes demonic the faces of babies and children in early portrait paintings”). Books, films, and other artworks serve as signposts along the way—reflections on the work of Virginia Woolf, Italo Calvino, and Elena Ferrante appear frequently, plus she considers paintings by Paul Delvaux and Marie NDiaye. Readers will relish following Cain’s winding prose and carefully considered conclusions. Fans of her work—and of literary criticism more generally—won’t want to miss this. Agent: Melissa Flashman, Janklow & Nesbit Assoc. (Oct.)