Lara Prior-Palmer - Rough Magic (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Friday, May 17, 2019 - 6:00pm

In Conversation with Brittany Newell

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.

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.

Brittany Newell is a 24-year-old writer whose debut novel, Oola, was published by Henry Holt (US) and HarperCollins (UK) in April 2017. It is currently being translated to German by an imprint of Random House. She writes a regular column for Dazed Digital on gender and sexuality. You can find her work in Granta and the New York Times. In addition to writing, she runs a gallery and art space in San Francisco called Halloween is Tomorrow (HIT) Gallery.

Location: 
1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111
Rough Magic: Riding the World's Loneliest Horse Race Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781948226196
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Catapult - May 7th, 2019

One of Entertainment Weekly's Most Anticipated Books of 2019