Rough Magic: Riding the World's Loneliest Horse Race

Backorder (temporarily out of stock)
Product Details
$25.00  $23.25
Publish Date
5.8 X 8.4 X 1.3 inches | 0.95 pounds

Earn by promoting books

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

Become an affiliate
About the Author
LARA PRIOR-PALMER was born in London in 1994. She studied conceptual history and Persian at Stanford University. In 2013, she competed in the 1,000-kilometer Mongol Derby in Mongolia, sometimes described as the world's toughest and longest horse race, and became the first woman to win the race, and the youngest person ever to finish. Rough Magic is her first book.
Winner of the Steppes Travel Adventure Travel Book of the Year Award
One of Esquire's Best Nonfiction Books of 2019

"If you like your memoirs to revolve around singular experiences, Lara Prior-Palmer's Rough Magic delivers." --John Williams, The New York Times

"This is no fresh-forged mythic hero, but rather a young woman who's still doubting, still equivocating about her right to seek greatness . . . As Prior-Palmer senses on her journey, reconciling the wisdom of the everyday with the instinct for timelessness and mythmaking is a life's work--work to which Rough Magic is an engaging guide." --Ellie Robbins, The Washington Post

"Excellent prose and rigorous honesty . . . An unusual pleasure to read . . . Prior-Palmer writes with a dash and boldness few writers possess; her language seems sui generis . . . Her narrative alchemy is remarkable; in every chapter, she turns boredom to suspense and back again. The Derby is at once heart-stoppingly close and a miserable slog to which we already know the ending. That shifting--heroism to comedy, glamour to stinking holes in the ground--creates a tension far more interesting than the question of who's going to win the race, or how." --Lily Meyer, NPR

"[Prior-Palmer's] prose is poetic, and while the race and Monolian landscape are conjured beautifully and intensely, the book's emotional impact lies in the nuanced portrait of its subject searching for answers beyond the life she's lived so far." --David Canfield, Entertainment Weekly

"In this sensual, spiritual memoir, Prior-Palmer recounts her grueling journey through immense physical hardship, and her surprising transformation from underdog to champion." --Adrienne Westenfeld, Esquire

"Page by page, Prior-Palmer tunes us in, slows us down to her speed, to pony paces, and we begin to attend to the present moment just as she does . . . At every turn, Prior-Palmer's writing is brilliant and clear-eyed and demonstrates more wisdom than any philosopher's theories . . . Presenting such an awe-inspiring page-turning narrative that plumbs the depths of all that's to be found in the present moment--the body, mind, and soul--while dissembling one's own ego with tender rigor is Rough Magic's finest achievement. Lara Prior-Palmer is a writer to watch." --Abby Travis, San Francisco Chronicle

"A gripping, self-searching, triumphant debut memoir . . . The winning vulnerability on display . . . throughout this exceptional coming-of-age tale keeps the pages turning and the reader rooting for this unlikely heroine . . . A breathtaking ride." --Kathleen Rooney, Star-Tribune (Minneapolis)

"Charming, self-aware, and mercifully devoid of clichés, it's just the sort of breezy travel memoir we've been looking for." --Lale Arikoglu, Condé Nast Traveler

"We are all lucky she did write it, because it's the rare read that offers what Rough Magic does: a type of pure exhilaration, the kind that snakes through your body in moments both still and hurried. Reading it is a visceral, sensorially charged experience; a, yes, rough and magical ride through one of the planet's most desolate landscapes, and into the mind of a young woman whose fearlessness and curiosity take her--and us--to countless unexpected places." --Kristin Iversen, NYLON

"First-time author Prior-Palmer transforms from hopeless 19-year-old underdog into surprising champion of the grueling 2013 Mongol Derby in this exhilarating, visceral account of her attempt to win a 1,000-kilometer horse race across the Mongolian countryside . . . Filled with soulful self-reflection and race detail, this fast-paced page-turner is a thrill ride from start to finish." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)