Call It Horses


Product Details

$26.95  $24.79
Dzanc Books
Publish Date
5.4 X 8.6 X 0.9 inches | 0.95 pounds
BISAC Categories:

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

Jessie van Eerden is author of three novels: Glorybound, winner of the Foreword Editor's Choice Fiction Prize; My Radio Radio; and Call It Horses, winner of the Dzanc Books Prize for Fiction. Her portrait essay collection The Long Weeping won the Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Award, and her work has appeared in Best American Spiritual Writing, Oxford American, New England Review, and other venues. Jessie has been awarded the Gulf Coast Prize in Nonfiction, the Milton Fellowship, and a Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Fellowship. She holds an MFA in nonfiction from the University of Iowa and teaches at Hollins University.


"Call It Horses is a spectacular novel. With the gorgeous language of Jayne Anne Phillips and the compassion of Carson McCullers, Jessie van Eerden follows an unforgettable cast of women through their lives and longing in West Virginia with precision and insight. An original, beautifully structured, and deeply moving book."
--Karen E. Bender, author of The New Order and Refund, finalist for the National Book Award

"Forget 'Go West, young man.' Forget cowboys and conquest. Here, it's a blue Oldsmobile Royale that takes three lost women out from the wiles of West Virginia, out from the working poor and humidity and domestic abuse and grief, away from every lost love and hard love they've ever known, as they drive toward the desert ghost of Georgia O'Keeffe, the one woman they think might have had it all figured out. With Call It Horses, Jessie van Eerden has reinvented the classic American road trip into an unforgettable, cinematic shero's journey that will have the reader laughing, crying, and calling up that old best girlfriend, the one you haven't talked to in so long, saying, 'Life is too damned short. Let's go for a ride.'"
--Rebecca Gayle Howell, author of American Purgatory and Render / An Apocalypse

"Jessie van Eerden manages, in prose so luminous it feels backlit by the golden hour, to give familiar topics--family, history, grief--their monumental due. But as exact are its descriptions of Appalachian bog and the dusty canyons of West Texas, Call It Horses locates its mystery in the liminal. The westward journey these three women take is filled with take-out meals and cheap hotel rooms, but the novel's most illuminating route is an unsettling and compassionate search for solace."
--Michael Parker, author of Prairie Fever and All I Have in This World

"Call It Horses is so many wonderful things at once: a road novel--three women trying to outrun grief, from the limestone caves of Caudell, West Virginia to the canyons of Palo Duro, Texas; a portrait of the artist as restless skeptic; a meditation on language itself. I know of few writers who write as well as Jessie van Eerden about the sacredness of language, the way it calls forth the world by naming it. Van Eerden doesn't just write about it; she enacts it formally--the shapeshifting magic of words, the acrobatic possibilities of sentences, the beautiful, yearning, fail and fail better lengths to which we all go to make our minds heard."
--Maud Casey, author of The Man Who Walked Away and The Art of Mystery

"A novel of grit and grace. Jessie van Eerden, in language both lean and lush, tells this story of women on the run--women who discover that in leaving they find exactly where they're meant to be. The final scene is one I'll remember always."
--Lee Martin, Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of Yours, Jean

"I was so moved by this one, I sobbed at the end. And the language! What a gifted author."
--Peg Alford Pursell, author of A Girl Goes into the Forest

"A rich and lyric meditation on love and individuality, Call It Horses depicts three women fleeing--literally, in a stolen, rusty Oldsmobile--the fixed narratives of gender, family, home, and death they'd been coaxed into. Filled with poetry, working class grit, and undogmatic spirituality, this novel shows us what we gain when we become outlaws in our own lives."
--John Englehardt, author of Bloomland