Kicking a Dead Horse
By Sam Shepard
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780307386823, 84pp.)
Publication Date: June 10, 2008
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A solitary man digs a hole in the ground, near a dead horse. Amidst the clutter of food and equipment stands Hobart Struther, who has ridden all the way out to the middle of nowhere on a holy mission. But one day into his “Great Sojourn,” things are looking bleak. His horse has choked to death, he's miles away from civilization, and there's not a person around to talk to – other than himself. As Hobart examines his rise — how he built a vast art collection while ensconced in a comfortable Park Avenue lifestyle — he digs deep into his own history, unearthing truths about his past while still struggling to find the answers he needs. With Shepard's linguistic flair, subtle humor, and probing insights, Kicking a Dead Horse is an invigorating addition to the works of one of America's most innovative playwrights.
Sam Shepard is the author of more than forty-five plays. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Buried Child. He was a finalist for the W. H. Smith Literary Award for his story collection Great Dream of Heaven, and he has also written the story collection Cruising Paradise, two collections of prose pieces, Motel Chronicles and Hawk Moon, and Rolling Thunder Logbook, a diary of Bob Dylan's 1975 Rolling Thunder Review tour. As an actor he has appeared in more than thirty films, and he received an Oscar nomination in 1984 for his performance in The Right Stuff. His screenplay for Paris, Texas won the Grand Jury Prize at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival, and he wrote and directed the film Far North in 1988. Shepard's plays, eleven of which have won Obie Awards, include Buried Child, The Late Henry Moss, Simpatico, Curse of the Starving Class, True West, Fool for Love, and A Lie of the Mind, which won a New York Drama Desk Award. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Shepard received the Gold Medal for Drama from the Academy in 1992, and in 1994 he was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame. He lives in New York.
“Classic Shepard, rueful and paradoxic. . . . Highly entertaining.” —Sunday Independent“Witty. . . . the writing is razor sharp.” —Irish Independent“Bold. . . . Kicking a dead horse he may be, but it never feels as though Shepard is flogging it.” —Irish Times