Rough Magic: Riding the World's Loneliest Horse Race by Lara Prior-Palmer (Pre-Order)
On Sale May 7, 2019 • ISBN 9781948226196
The exceptional debut memoir of a young woman who traveled to Mongolia to compete in the world’s longest, toughest horse race, and emerged as its youngest and first-ever female winner.
“I laughed, I cried, and I felt every bruise. I was riveted.” —Felicity Aston, author of Alone in Antarctica
“In Rough Magic, Lara Prior-Palmer possesses Annie Dillard’s brilliance for noticing, laced with a wild and glistering humor.” —Josephine Rowe, author of A Loving, Faithful Animal
At the age of nineteen, Lara Prior-Palmer discovered a website devoted to “the world’s longest, toughest horse race”—an annual competition of endurance and skill that involves dozens of riders racing a series of twenty-five wild ponies across 1,000 kilometers of Mongolian grassland. On a whim, she decided to enter the race. As she boarded a plane to East Asia, she was utterly unprepared for what awaited her.
Riders often spend years preparing to compete in the Mongol Derby, a course that recreates the horse messenger system developed by Genghis Khan, and many fail to finish. Prior-Palmer had no formal training. She was driven by her own restlessness, stubbornness, and a lifelong love of horses. She raced for ten days through extreme heat and terrifying storms, catching a few hours of sleep where she could at the homes of nomadic families. Battling bouts of illness and dehydration, exhaustion and bruising falls, she decided she had nothing to lose. Each dawn she rode out again on a fresh horse, scrambling up mountains, swimming through rivers, crossing woodlands and wetlands, arid dunes and open steppe, as American television crews chased her in their Jeeps.
Told with terrific suspense and style, in a voice full of poetry and soul, Rough Magic captures the extraordinary story of one young woman who forged ahead, against all odds, to become the first female winner of this breathtaking race.
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.