We love Mary Gaitskill for her gorgeous and daring short fiction and novels, such as Bad Behaviorand the National Book Award finalist, Veronica. Her latest novel, The Mare, is a no-holds-barred dive into the psychology of two women – one grown and living in the suburbs; one stepping into gritty adolescence in Brooklyn – as they challenge, shape and reveal each other. This is one of our favorite novels of 2015. We hope you can join us to welcome Gaitskill to Austin Monday, November 9 at 7PM.

“What makes her scary, and what makes her exciting, is her ability to evoke the hidden life, the life unseen, the life we don’t even know we are living.” —The New York Times Magazine

Kaitlyn on Mary Gaitskill:

“You know who you are, right? What you’re like? Sure, you can’t know how other people perceive you, but you know what you’re like on the inside. Mary Gaitskill will make you think twice. Her work hit me like a punch in the gut, over and over again, and I’ll give this warning to prospective readers: As she plumbs the inner life of her characters, you may feel she is doing the same to you. Prodding sensitive corners, those you deny or ignore. Don’t let this scare you, though–it’s really quite thrilling. And her the language is some of the most precise, intense, and beautiful I’ve ever come across. She’s always left me in a trance and I’ve never been so eager to hear an author speak. She’s hands down my favorite.” —Kaitlyn

Bandit on The Mare:

“This is the first Gaitskill book I’ve read and I really enjoyed it. The writing is strong and compelling, so you don’t want to put it down. The language drags you in. The story is about motherhood and women’s relationships with their mothers and daughters, as well as the story of a girl’s coming of age. A woman in upstate New York takes on an inner city girl as part of the Fresh Air Fund program. The way the woman interacts with this girl, who has a difficult relationship with her mother and a troubled life in the city, as well as the way the girl starts connecting with the woman as a maternal figure, hooked me. What it says bout maternal relationships and the relationships women have with each other and their families is really interesting. The girl’s experience learning to ride horses and connecting with a difficult horse adds another level of suspense and hope to the story. Great read, I highly recommend it.” —Meghan L.

From the Critics:

“Ms. Gaitskill is such a preternaturally gifted writer that nearly every page of The Mare shimmers with exacting and sometimes hallucinatory observation.”—Dwight Garner, The New York Times 

“Gaitskill (Veronica, 2005, etc.) takes a premise that could have been preachy, sentimental, or simplistic—juxtaposing urban and rural, rich and poor, young and old, brown and white—and makes it candid and emotionally complex, spare, real, and deeply affecting. She explores the complexities of love (mares, “meres” . . . ) to bring us a novel that gallops along like a bracing bareback ride on a powerful thoroughbred.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Gaitskill has not lost her gift for transforming the outside world into the particular vision of one of her characters, rich and perplexed, and The Mare ripples with internal emotional movement, but it is also a physical novel . . . the book is an exciting read. Nothing stands still, not the horses, not the violent mother or the would-be mother, not the vicious jealous friends, not the boyfriend or husband, not the sky.”—Cathleen Schine, The New York Review of Books

“The Mare is worth reading for the plot alone, which is as uplifting as it is gutting. But Gaitskill is more than a gifted story-teller. She is an enchanter, to borrow Nabokov’s description of what makes a good writer a major one. The particular way in which she enchants—by putting into words the wordless undercurrent of human behavior—is explicit in The Mare.” —Hannah Tennant-Moore, The New Republic 

The Mare is indebted, in its narrative strategy, to As I Lay Dying, another novel that employs a host of recurring narrators to get at the tangled intricacies of family life. There is a certain loom-like effect at work in both books, a warp-and-woof texture, visible only to the reader, produced by the interwoven sets of impressions . . .  On horseback, Velvet is in her own, untouchable place, and Gaitskill’s sentences lift their necks and pick up speed to match her movements stride for stride.”—Alexandra Schwartz, The New Yorker 


Mary Gaistkill is the author of the story collections Bad Behavior, Because They Wanted To (nominated for a PEN/Faulkner Award), and Don t Cry, and the novels Veronica (nominated for a National Book Award) and Two Girls, Fat and Thin. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, and her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Esquire, The Best American Short Stories, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. Her short story “Secretary” was the basis for the film of the same name.

We hope to see you Monday, 11/9 when Mary Gaitskill speaks & signs The Mare in our store!

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