“I adore her work, and sensibility,” writes Claire-Louise Bennett of Amina Cain; and Jenny Offill: “Cain writes beautiful precise sentences about what it means to wander through this luminous world.” Cain’s unique wandering sensibility, her attention to the small and the surprising, finds a profound new expression in her first nonfiction book, a sustained meditation on writers and their work. Driven by primary questions of authenticity and freedom in the shadow of ecological and social collapse, Cain moves associatively through a personal canon of authors—including Marguerite Duras, Elena Ferrante, Renee Gladman, and Virginia Woolf—and topics as timely and various as female friendships, zazen meditation, neighborhood coyotes, landscape painting, book titles, and the politics of excess. A Horse at Night: On Writing is an intimate reckoning with the contemporary moment, and a quietly brilliant contribution to the lineage of Woolf’sA Room of One’s Own or Gass’s On Being Blue, books that are virtuosic arguments for—and beautiful demonstrations of—the essential unity of writing and life.
A Horse at Night is like light from a candle in the evening: intimate, pleasurable, full of wonder. It asks us to consider fiction as life and life as fiction. Amina Cain is our generous, gentle guide through an exquisite library. A truly beautiful book. —Ayşegül Savaş
Cain offers a spare, graceful meditation on her rich, idiosyncratic reading and her practice of writing. —Kirkus Reviews
Readers will relish following Cain’s winding prose and carefully considered conclusions. Fans of her work—and of literary criticism more generally—won’t want to miss this. —Publishers Weekly