So thrilled to receive the very beautifully produced copies of the re-issue of The Horse of Selene, Juanita Casey’s first and much acclaimed novel from 1971 which we are making available on our website - or just email if you’d like to collect one. Well done to the Irish independent publisher, Tramp Press, who were as entranced by this book as we have been. You can read the review in the Irish Times here
The literary life of Juanita, Sven Berlin’s extraordinary second wife, only took off after they parted in 1962 and what a talent she was, writing poetry, short stories and this absorbing, magical novel. The book brings together so many of her passions: horses, her affinity with Ireland and its people, the outlandish and often absurd, and her ability to dig deep and sense what makes us the people we are.
Highly recommended is the insight provided by the RTE Arena interview (27 July) with Mary Burke, the American academic who wrote the excellent Afterword included in the book. Do take a minute to listen...
We, of course, originally published (in limited edition) Juanita’s immense and colourful autobiography Azerbaijan! in 2008. It was an unforgettable experience to work with her, the discussions ranging from how much she would/should keep in on the subject of ‘Irish feet’ to the meaning of ‘spancelled’ (to hobble... referring to horses and donkeys). My suggested deletions were often marked ‘keep in’!!
Even if you own a copy of the original The Horse of Selene, the very interesting Afterword is well worth reading. It places this lifestyle classic, immersed in the spirit of the 1960s, into context, and positions Juanita and her writing very definitely in the literary canon of Irish literature. Order from the website or just drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Many thanks to Tramp Press and Juanita's daughter Sheba Tobias for use of the images.