2010 National Book Award Winner,
Lord of Misrule
McPherson & Co.
ABOUT THE BOOK
At the rock-bottom end of the sport of kings sits the ruthless and often violent world of cheap horse racing, where trainers and jockeys, grooms and hotwalkers, loan sharks and touts all struggle to take an edge, or prove their luck, or just survive. Lord of Misrule follows five characters—scarred and lonely dreamers in the American grain—through a year and four races at Indian Mound Downs, downriver from Wheeling, West Virginia.
Horseman Tommy Hansel has a scheme to rescue his failing stable: He’ll ship four unknown but ready horses to Indian Mound Downs, run them in cheap claiming races at long odds, and then get out fast before anyone notices. The problem is, at this rundown riverfront half-mile racetrack in the Northern Panhandle, everybody notices—veteran groom Medicine Ed, Kidstuff the blacksmith, old lady “gyp” Deucey Gifford, stall superintendent Suitcase Smithers, eventually even the ruled-off “racetrack financier” Two-Tie and the ominous leading trainer, Joe Dale Bigg. But no one bothers to factor in Tommy Hansel’s go-fer girlfriend, Maggie Koderer. Like the beautiful, used-up, tragic horses she comes to love, Maggie has just enough heart to wire everyone’s flagging hopes back to the source of all luck.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jaimy Gordon is the author of three previous novels, Shamp of the City-Solo, She Drove Without Stopping, and most lately Bogeywoman, which was on the Los Angeles Times' list of Best Fiction of 2000. Gordon has been a Fellow of the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and the Bunting (now Radcliffe) Institute at Harvard. In 1991 she received an Academy-Institute Award for her fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Born in Baltimore, she now lives in Kalamazoo, and teaches at Western Michigan University and in the Prague Summer Program for Writers.
Western Michigan University webpage
Gordon's McPherson & Co.