Horsebuggy Cover

After a nefarious yet revered mayor bans horse-drawn carriages in his city, a reclusive horse-and-buggy driver loses his job, his lover, and his unborn child, as the desolate farm he has lived on his whole life deteriorates around him along with his sanity. But this lone wolf vows revenge. With language lean and lyrical, and humor dark and grotesque, Joshua Kornreich’s Horsebuggy is not only a haunting portrait of what happens when man’s capacity for intimacy and acceptance is undermined by his more violent and sadistic impulses, but also a tragic love story and a penetrating study of how we destroy ourselves as much with our moralism and self-righteousness as with our vice and self-indulgence.


“Herein lies the tale of the crooked-nosed man—driver of a horse-drawn carriage, and Grace—his rain-soaked, bedraggled fare. Kornreich delivers to us the joy that comes to the lonely when love is found, and the anguish that ensues when love succumbs to suffering and, finally, to loss. And yet, for the crooked-nosed man, physical desire lives on, his unbridled lust to be satisfied only by the surviving object of his love, as reason unravels and he teeters toward lunacy. Told with stunning candor, Kornreich brings us an unforgettable tale of tragedy, exploring the depths of both compassion and depravity. Get ready for the wildest of rides.”

—Pamela Ryder, author of Paradise Field

Horsebuggy roars along with comic verve, mythic gusto, and a tender, tangy take on equine affections. Joshua Kornreich’s exacting and entrancing prose rhythms provide momentum and delight. Climb up and take the ride.”

—Sam Lipsyte, author of The Ask

“This is what Citizen Kane would have been if instead of a newspaper magnate it would have given us a character not unlike Lester Ballard from Cormac McCarthy’s Child of God, and if Rosebud had been an aging horse instead of a sled. A funny, transgressive, and oddly humane novel in which each finely wrought sentence leads you into a place of more desperation.”

—Brian Evenson, author of A Collapse of Horses

“Kornreich’s latest novel is all talk. Big talk. Small talk. Fast talk. Trash talk. Ten pages in and you might not be sure about who’s talking, but you’ll listen. You’ll listen like your life depended on it. Because you’ll want to know. You’ll want to know what’s going to happen to those horses…. Like Knotty, Knotty, Knotty (2014) and The Boy Who Killed Caterpillars (2007), the circuitous language and disturbing characters of Joshua Kornreich’s third novel harbor the stuff of nightmares…. Kornreich’s sentence structure is carefully crafted and distinctly repetitive. His novels might be better described as deformed and deforming language economies. Corrupted economies that mirror the same ones experienced by his corrupt and/or corruptible narrators…The adult characters of Horsebuggy often come across as smeared or half-erased persons. Smeared with the shit of childhood, the trauma of following orders. Of being disordered by masculine violence, racism, sexual violence, and the bloodstained fingers of bankers. Yet these poor souls are determined to survive in endlessly ending times. As if gnawing through the walls of a barn, these buggy, horse-drawn bodies want to twist around and chew through whatever they can for nourishment. It’s always about survival for Kornreich. It’s not all talk. It’s a mouthful. It’s business as usual.”

—Paul Cunningham, in Fanzine

“Joshua Kornreich’s Horsebuggy is a dark little surprise and joy, blackly funny in the vein of The Sisters Brothers. It’s the sort of book where everything leads to its logical conclusion—and nothing is more ridiculous and bleak than human nature allowed to run its course.”

The Seattle Review of Books

Joshua Kornreich is the author of the novels The Boy Who Killed Caterpillars (Marick Press, 2007; Dzanc Books, 2013), Knotty, Knotty, Knotty (Black Mountain Press, 2014), and Horsebuggy (Sagging Meniscus, 2019). His work has been featured in various publications, including Unsaid, Heavy Feather Review, Radioactive Moat, Meridian, Trop and Necessary Fiction. He lives in New York City with his wife and two sons.

pub date: 2019-05-28
$19.95 | 226 pages
isbn: 978-1-944697-74-7 (paperback)
Cover design by Royce M. Becker