Barn Blind

Jane Smiley

05 October 2017
224 pages


Written with the grace and quiet beauty of her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Barn Blind is a spellbinding story on the classic American themes of work, love, and duty, and the lengths we will go to achieve success.

The verdant pastures of a farm in Illinois have the placid charms of a landscape painting, but the horses that graze there have become the obsession of a woman who sees them as the fulfilment of every wish: to win, to be honoured, to be the best. Her ambition is the galvanizing force in Jane Smiley's first novel, a force that will drive a wedge between her and her family, and bring them all to tragedy . . .

Chilling . . . Jane Smiley handles with skill and understanding the mercurial molasses of adolescence, and the inchoate, cumbersome love that family members feel for one another
Smiley, with flawless command of the shaky grandeur and gritty drudgery which can absorb the equestrian fancy, matches the open-ended rigors of the discipline with one woman's tragically destructive obsession . . . Devastating
So accomplished it's hard to believe it is a first novel. Jane Smiley is a rare talent, a first-rate writer