Kick the Latch, by Kathryn Scanlan

Staff Pick

Scanlan crafted this narrative from extensive interviews and it meets the definition of “novel” chiefly in the sense of being “new or unusual” in genre, rather than invention of character, plot, or voice. Letting her protagonist speak for herself—possibly literally—this immediate and immediately engaging work is the story of Sonia, who became absorbed in the world of horses at an early age, finding with them the companionship and understanding she missed from people. At 16 she fled her difficult home life for good, embarking on a long career as a trainer. It was a grueling, sometimes brutal life, made of long days, exhausting physical labor, injuries, and, for women, scorn and sexual assault. But Sonia thrived on it, and her monologue takes us into the rich culture and “particular language” of the racetrack, where Humpty Dumpty and Dark Side could name either a horse or a rider, and where, when a horse gallops, “there’s a thousand pounds of pressure held up by that one thin leg, that little hoof the size of a hand-held ashtray.”

Kick the Latch By Kathryn Scanlan Cover Image
ISBN: 9780811232005
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: New Directions - September 27th, 2022