Without planning it, I wrote a diary of sorts. Lightly. A diary of fiction. Or is that not what this is?
Essayistic inquiries come together into a sustained meditation on writers and their works, on the spaces of reading and writing fiction, and how these spaces take shape inside a life.
In A Horse at Night, Amina Cain contemplates how to be honest, open and free, as a person and a writer, even (and perhaps especially) during a time of great change. She moves elegantly through a personal canon of authors – including Marguerite Duras, Elena Ferrante and Annie Ernaux – and topics as timely and various as female friendships, neighbourhood coyotes, landscape painting and the politics of excess, to profound and joyous effect.
An individual reckoning with the contemporary moment and a quietly brilliant contribution to the lineage of Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own or William H. Gass’s On Being Blue, A Horse at Night is a virtuosic argument for – and beautiful demonstration of – the essential unity of writing and life.
‘I’ve been finding myself returning again and again to [it], finding wisdom, beauty and recognition in [Cain’s] distilled observations on writing and making art.’ Sophie Mackintosh, author of Cursed Bread
‘Utterly compelling . . . Visionary and inspiring.’ Celia Paul
‘Amina Cain lays down the keys to her writing kingdom very quietly . . . I loved it.’ Roger Robinson, Books of the Year, New Statesman
‘An ideal corrective to slavishly tallying up the books we’ve read on Goodreads… an earnest and thoughtful celebration and exploration of the pleasures and powers of reading.’ Lunate
‘A constellation of lucid observations for both readers and writers.’ The Face magazine
‘Cain writes beautiful precise sentences about what it means to wander through this luminous world.’ Jenny Offill, author of Weather
‘Amina Cain is a phenomenal writer. I adore her work, and sensibility.’ Claire-Louise Bennett, author of Checkout 19
‘Stunning; unbelievably subtle, precise, & intelligent about writing, creativity & art making more widely.’ Rebecca Tamás, author of Strangers: Essays on the Human and Nonhuman
‘Nimble and deft, Amina Cain is a seamstress of thought, stitching exquisite creations of text as if from cloth. A Horse at Night is an exceptional book, a work of depth and elegance, with her bright intelligence threaded into its very seams.’ Doireann Ní Ghríofa, author of A Ghost in the Throat