Kathryn Scanlan’s “Kick the Latch”

October 14, 2022

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Kathryn Scanlan joins Kate Wolf and Medaya Ocher to discuss her new novel, Kick the Latch. A series of taut, electrifying vignettes based on real-life interviews, the book narrates the life of Sonia, a horse trainer in rural Iowa, who enters the world of competitive racing while still in high school. Sonia’s experiences at the racetrack are by turns exultant and brutal: they take place in an atmosphere in which both human and animal are pushed to the edge of their lives in the name of competition. Sonia’s grit and devotion serve to counter to the exceptional details of her life and work. Through Sonia’s character, Scanlan crafts a gripping voice that reveals itself in small details, idiosyncratic phrases, and deep tenderness.

Also, Hua Hsu, author of Stay True, returns to recommend Maxine Hong Kingston's Tripmaster Monkey: His Fake Book.