A Year at the Races
Reflections on Horses, Humans, Love, Money, and Luck
By Jane Smiley
(Knopf, Hardcover, 9781400040582, 304pp.)
Publication Date: April 13, 2004
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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The Pulitzer Prize—winning author of A Thousand Acres gallops into territory she first explored in her acclaimed best-selling novel Horse Heaven (“Deeply satisfying . . . a smart, warmhearted, winning book” –New York Times Book Review) with this irresistible account of her lifelong love affair with horses.
Smiley draws upon her firsthand knowledge of horses, as well as the wisdom of trainers, vets, jockeys, and even a real-life horse whisperer, to examine the horse on all levels–practical, theoretical, and emotional. She shares not only “cute stories” about her own horses, but also fascinating and original insights into horse–and human–behavior. To all this she adds an element of drama and suspense as two of her own horses begin their careers at the racetrack. As the sexy black filly Waterwheel and the elegant gray colt Wowie aspire to the winner’s circle, we are enchanted, enthralled–and informed about what it’s really like to own, train, and root for a Thoroughbred.
A Year at the Races is charming, funny, and a bit outrageous: a candid exploration of the abiding bond between humans and horses, told with panache, intelligence, and humor.
Jane Smiley is the author of numerous novels, including, most recently, Good Faith, as well as a critically acclaimed biography of Charles Dickens. She is the recipient of a Pulitzer Prize and was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2001. Smiley owns several horses and lives in Northern California.
“Exuberant . . . witty, completely delightful. . . . A kind of National Velvet for adults.” –San Francisco Chronicle
“Smiley is arguably America’s foremost author on the subject of love. . . . And love imbues this memoir.” –The Washington Post
“Smiley has flung herself headlong . . . into horse racing. . . . Enough good horse stories to keep any reader happy.” –The New York Times Book Review
“Invigorating . . . thought-provoking. A delightful book filled with arcane horse knowledge. . . . It could easily become the bible of the barn.” –The Baltimore Sun