In a phenomenon too prevalent to be mere chance, little girls all over the Western world wake one day to find themselves completely taken over by the love of all things equine. Melissa Holbrook Pierson was one of those horse-crazy girls who later returned to riding with a new appreciation for the nature of horses. Melding memoir, sociology, history, anecdote, and a bit of prose poetry, Dark Horses and Black Beauties delves beneath the shallow hypotheses explaining women's connection to horses to look at how this communication with another animal opens us up to a new apprehension of the larger "natural" world. "A fearless book: unflinching, honest, and kind." Village Voice "The play of her mind...is subtle and quick; coltish, one wants to say, and one would be right." The New York Times, Richard Bernstein "So beautifully written that it instantly captivates." Newark Star-Ledger "She muses to deep and lyrical effect in her new collection of slender and delicate essays on horses and women." Richard Bernstein, The New York Times "A meditation intended to dispel those tiresome Freudian theories aimed at the universal fascination women seem to have with horses." The New York Times Book Review, Jillian Dunham "A fearless book: unflinching, earnest, and kind." Village Voice, Emily Jenkins "This is a poignant, charming, and realistic book." Maxine Kumin "Whoever likes animals will love this book, and better yet, whoever seeks to fathom the mysterious relationships between ourselves and other species will be transported." Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, author of The Hidden Life of Dogs "As passionate as it is informative....Rich in history, romance, and charm, Pierson's devotion to horses is always engaging, and most of all, moving." Brenda Peterson, co-editor of Intimate Nature: The Bond Between Women and Animals "Pierson's...writing...is well suited to her subject, containing bits of breathless enthusiasm one moment and peaceful contemplation the next." Publishers Weekly
|Publisher:||Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.60(d)|
About the Author
Table of Contents
|3.||Reason for Being||27|
|14.||Ends of the Earth||143|
|16.||What Is This Thing Called||161|
|23.||We Are/Are Not||215|
|A Note on Readings||253|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I finished a quarter of it standing next to its shelf at a Barnes & Noble store - then I finished the next quarter of it sitting in the nearest chair there - I decided I had better bring it home to finish. Being an 'equestrian' and an author, I have read numerous equine books - this particular one managed to reach out, grab my soul, and gave it a good shaking. At one moment I've never felt so ashamed of my hypocritical self, and then on to the next moment of soaring in the possibility of feeling excited that there is a better future. Pierson does not hold back on pointing the finger of accusation out to all of us for wanting to domesticate so many things for our own selfish 'wants and needs.' She is right, they don't need us, WE need them. She pens horrific facts and figures that none of us will want to acknowledge as truth, although we know they are. Although she's been criticized for not following the marketing of the book (isn't the marketing supposed to follow the book?) towards women - I do not see these critics point. In every chapter there is reference to women - their love, the impact of their love (good and bad), and their history with animals/horses. Everyone should read this book - everyone should read this, heed it, and being willing to accept responsibility for the damage that we all have done - and don't blame Pierson for being the one to make us see, instead, thank her. Maybe if we really love something, we should let it go...
From the first page of this book, I felt the author understood me and through her eloquence, I was able to convey my obsession with horses to others. I kept saying, 'This is me!' as I read the book. Like any 'addiction', I was both relieved and pleased that there are others out there like me. I laughed out loud and held back tears in front of total strangers (cried like a baby when alone) while reading this foray into the mystical hold that horses have over some of us. I performed a librarian's 'ultimate sin' and dog-eared pages. Later, I would read them aloud to family and friends, able to put into words how I felt about horses and ultimately, myself. As an adult 'horse freak', this is the most incredible book I have ever read about my obsession. I recommend it to anyone with that same unexplainable attraction. I will read it again.