A Debut to Remember | Scott Cheshire

Article by debut-author

Discovering new authors is one of the true joys of bookselling. Over the next several months we're proud to feature some of our favorite debut authors presenting their books. We begin with Scott Cheshire, author of the new novel HIGH AS THE HORSES' BRIDLES.

"On October 28th, 1999, my grandmother passed away. This became my first experience with loss. She was an elegant, loving, and hilarious woman who’d brought her two daughters to America from Viña del Mar, Chile, some thirty years before. Sadly, she’d been sick for a long time, confined to her bed in a care facility. As a family, we prayed for her final passing into grace, because, after all, we were a family of Jehovah’s Witnesses—a family of faith. And this was religion doing its best possible work, giving us, especially my mom, a sense of peace and hope in the face of death. But I must confess, the question dogged me then, and it dogs me still, twenty years after leaving the Witness community: where is my grandmother?

I spent most of my twenties running from my own history while immersing myself in books by writers interested in metaphysics—in our human drive toward transcendence and meaning—like Herman Melville, Don DeLillo, and Marilynne Robinson. Before long, there opened up inside me a tremendous desire to contribute something to that conversation. So I stopped running and, instead, became intensely interested in Witness history, a fascinating American phenomenon. But my writing never really took flight. It felt insular, constrained, self-involved.

As I got older and hopefully more mature, and as I read more deeply into the vast and varied religious histories of this country, I realized I wanted to tell a story not of my own history, but ours—a story of a family, of a country, of all of us, really, and our very human desire to forestall and make sense of death. HIGH AS THE HORSES' BRIDLES is about that human urge to frame Time, to make a story of our imperfect journey toward Meaning, to give it a Beginning, a Middle, an End."

-- Scott Cheshire

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