Talley English

Author of
  • Horse
    Knopf (Aug. 2018)

Talley English received her BA in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Creative Writing from Goucher College. She is a recipient of the Lizette Woodworth Reese poetry award from Goucher College’s Kratz Center for Creative Writing. She holds an MFA from Hollins University, where she received the Academy of American Poets’ Gertrude Claytor Poetry Prize. Talley’s mother first put Talley on a pony, named Snowball, when she was two years old, and she continued riding horses for the next twenty-three years, until she began writing more often than riding. She feels that she learned about herself through riding, much in the way that storytelling requires a translation of human emotion into writing. Talley lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, with her family and a dog.

Books by Talley


The haunting debut of a plainspoken, utterly original new voice: a novel about a girl on the cusp of her teenage years, who is growing up faster than she ever hoped she would.

When Teagan’s father abruptly abandons his family and his farm, Teagan finds herself wading through the wreckage of what was once an idyllic life, searching for something–or someone–to hold on to. What she finds is Ian, short for Obsidian: the magnificent but dangerously headstrong horse her father left behind. But even as she grows close to Ian, patiently training him, trying to overcome her fear of him, Teagan is learning that life and love are fragile. With an unflinching eye and remarkable restraint, English tells a piercing story about how families hold together and fall apart; about loss and grief; about friendship; about the blunt cruelty of chance; and finally, about forgiveness.

Praise for Horse

Horse, by Talley English, might look like another story about a girl and her horse, which it is and is more: an unflinching examination of what it is to be an animal, what it is to be human, the difference and overlap between the two, and how to manage that intersection. Anyone who’s ever tried to care for a creature from a hamster on up will love it and learn from it. Brilliantly written, and ruthlessly felt, this novel marks the debut of a talent strong for the long haul.

Madison Smartt Bell

English presents an original, often lyrical story of a teen girl and her horse as she finds her way in a world full of false friends and traitorous adults. A solid choice for thoughtful readers interested in stories of families and relationships.

Library Journal

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