VIRTUAL - Ginger Gaffney - HALF BROKE

Tuesday, September 15, 2020 - 7:00pm

This event will take place on ZOOM. Click here to register.

Ginger Gaffney will be in conversation with Pam Houston. 

“People say that horses mirror their owners,” writes Ginger Gaffney near the beginning of her remarkable book, HALF BROKE: A Memoir. “To protect themselves,” Gaffney explains, “[horses] become you. They blend themselves to the inside of a person: emotional camouflage.” Gaffney is a professional horse trainer, who, at the start of this memoir, has answered a call to help the people of DS Ranch, an alternative prison in New Mexico, train their seemingly untrainable horses. “The ranch horses have seen a lot of damaged people over the years,” and the horses, mirroring the prisoners, are unhinged, their bodies twisting, kicking dirt in the air. Gaffney knows that horses naturally choose to flee troubling situations, but “lacking the space to truly flee, living among one hundred men and women who broadcast danger with every movement, the horses have chosen to fight.”

HALF BROKE is resonant, smart, and beautifully written. There is so much to learn about the ways horses and humans communicate and seek relationships. Gaffney tells a story that is deeply human and moving, honoring both the people of DS Ranch and their horses. It’s a stunning account of the difficult art of survival.

Ginger Gaffney is a top-ranked horse trainer. She received an MFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, and her work has been published in Tin House, The Utne Reader, Witness, Quarterly West, and other publications. She lives in Velarde, New Mexico.

Pam Houston is the author of the memoir, Deep Creek: Finding Hope In The High Country, which won both the Colorado Book Award and the Reading The West Advocacy Award in 2019. She is also the author of two novels, Contents May Have Shifted and Sight Hound, two collections of short stories, Cowboys Are My Weakness and Waltzing the Cat, and a collection of essays, A Little More About Me, all published by W.W. Norton. Her stories have been selected for volumes of The O. Henry Awards, The Pushcart Prize, Best American Travel Writing, and Best American Short Stories of the Century among other anthologies. She is also the winner of the Western States Book Award, the WILLA Award for contemporary fiction, the Evil Companions Literary Award, and several teaching awards. She teaches in the Low Rez MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts, is Professor of English at UC Davis, and co-founder and creative director of the literary nonprofit Writing By Writers. She lives at 9,000 feet above sea level on a 120-acre homestead near the headwaters of the Rio Grande. A book co-written with activist Amy Irvine: Air Mail: Letters of Politics, Pandemics and Place, is forthcoming from Torrey House Press in October of 2020.


Half Broke: A Memoir By Ginger Gaffney Cover Image
ISBN: 9781324003076
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - February 4th, 2020