Author(s): Scott Cheshire
It's 1980 at a crowded amphitheatre in Queens, New York and a nervous Josiah Laudermilk, age 12, is about to step to the stage while thousands of believers wait to hear him, the boy preaching prodigy, pour forth. Suddenly, as if a switch had been flipped, Josiah's nerves shake away and his words come rushing out, his whole body fills to the brim with the certainty of a strange apocalyptic vision. But is it true prophecy or just a young believer's imagination running wild? Decades later when Josiah (now Josie) is grown and has long since left the church, he returns to Queens to care for his father who, day by day, is losing his grip on reality. Barrelling through the old neighbourhood, memories of the past - of his childhood friend Issy, of his first love, of the mother he has yet to properly mourn - overwhelm him at every turn. When he arrives at his family's old house, he's completely unprepared for what he finds. How far back must one man journey to heal a broken bond between father and son?
"Cheshire's debut novel triangulates between contemporary New York City and Southern California and nineteenth-century Kentucky in this vivid, visceral tale about a son schooled in the holy fire of old-time religion who must seek bold new bonds with his evangelical father, his departed mother, his ex-wife, and his own richly transformed inner life."--"Elle ""It's a powerful book, an unflinching examination of two centuries of American yearning and desire."--As recommended by Colum McCann in "The""New York Times Book Review ""Cheshire tackles life's biggest issues through the person of Josiah, whose evangelistic heritage is finally revealed, in a narrative studded with gems of insight about the human condition. An impressively crafted literary first novel."--"Booklist """High As the Horses' Bridles" is a great new American epic, one that spans two hundred years, and takes us cross-country from the streets of New York City, to the beaches of Southern California, to the bluegrass hills of Old Kentucky. Cheshire tackles the biggest questions of all, God, love, and death, and he does it with such style and raw psychological insight. Nothing less than Dostoyevskian." --Philipp Meyer "From its opening tour de force to its equally extraordinary conclusion, Scott Cheshire's debut is searing and fierce. His protagonist, Josiah Laudermilk, provides a rare bridge from our familiar everyday to the strange, rich territory of Evangelical Christianity -- and back again. Josiah's - and Cheshire's - brilliant evocations make the whole world new. This novel is truly memorable." --Claire Messud "So many things at once,ã��"High as the Horses' Bridles "is the heartbreaking story of a family, of a marriage, of the undying affection between a father and his son, and the redemptive power of love. It also happens to beã��a deep look at one of the more unsettling aspects of our national character--religion as desire. This is a r
Scott Cheshire earned his MFA from Hunter College. He is the interview editor at the "Tottenville Review" and teaches writing at the Sackett Street Writers' Workshop. His work has been published in "Slice," "AGNI," "Guernica" and the Picador anthology "The Book of Men." He lives in New York City.