A Horse at Night

Amina Cain


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Daunt Books
6 October 2022
ISBN: 9781914198373
224 pages

From the publisher

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 BlueA Horse at Night is a virtuosic argument for – and beautiful demonstration of – the essential unity of writing and life.

‘Cain writes beautiful precise sentences about what it means to wander through this luminous world.’ Jenny Offill

‘Amina Cain is a phenomenal writer. I adore her work, and sensibility.’ Claire-Louise Bennett

‘Stunning; unbelievably subtle, precise, & intelligent about writing, creativity & art making more widely.’ Rebecca Tamás

A Horse at Night is a thing of rare beauty. A book to make you fall in love with the life of a real or imagined writer in a way that feels completely fresh – I love it!’ Susan Finlay

A masterful work about writing and reading, that feels like a manifesto and conversation all in one. Intimate, insightful and brilliant.’ Sinéad Gleeson

‘A supple, beguiling treatise on the lifeblood of writerly craft. A perfectly whittled book I’ll hold close for years to come.’ Sue Rainsford

‘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

‘Lucid and precise, it feels instinctively like a very special literary work, and one to revisit again and again.’ Ana Kinsella

‘Like light from a candle in the evening: intimate, pleasurable, full of wonder.’ Ayşegül Savaş

‘Amina Cain lays down the keys to her writing kingdom very quietly … I loved it.’ Roger Robinson

‘Astounding … I was distraught when I finished.’ Kerri Ní Dochartaigh

‘It was a joy to spend time in the company of the author’s elegant, wise voice.’ Sara Baume

‘Fascinating and generous.’ Pragya Agarwal

‘A book that’s self-soluble, that thinks about its own dissolution as an artifact.’ Bhanu Kapil