All the Pretty Horses

What is it about the relationship between girls and their ponies?


Black Beauty, Flicka, Secretariat, National Velvet, Misty of Chincoteague, and all the rest—horse books are a genre unto themselves, occupying an entire shelf (or more, should you add the 112 books in The Saddle Club series) of girls’ bedrooms everywhere. For all of the girls who lived and breathed horses (on the page or in the barn), the infatuation meant something that is difficult—or even embarrassing—to explain outside of the stable. Horse Girls, edited by Halimah Marcus, the executive director of Electric Literature, smashes all the stereotypes you might hold about riders and the way they relate to their horses, with diverse essays from the literary likes of horsewoman Jane Smiley and aspiring horse girl Carmen Maria Machado.

Go beyond the episode:

Tune in every week to catch interviews with the liveliest voices from literature, the arts, sciences, history, and public affairs; reports on cutting-edge works in progress; long-form narratives; and compelling excerpts from new books. Hosted by Stephanie Bastek.

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Have suggestions for projects you’d like us to catch up on, or writers you want to hear from? Send us a note: podcast [at] theamericanscholar [dot] org. And rate us on iTunes!

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Stephanie Bastek is the senior editor of the Scholar and the producer/host of the Smarty Pants podcast.


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