Evening’s NHPR moderator: Julia Furukawa, host of All Things Considered
A discarded painting in a junk pile, a skeleton in an attic, and the greatest racehorse in American history: from these strands, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Geraldine Brooks braids a sweeping story of spirit, obsession, and injustice across American history.
Kentucky, 1850. An enslaved groom named Jarret and a bay foal forge a bond of understanding that will carry the horse to record-setting victories across the South. When the nation erupts in civil war, an itinerant young artist who has made his name on paintings of the racehorse takes up arms for the Union. On a perilous night, he reunites with the stallion and his groom, very far from the glamor of any racetrack.
New York City, 1954. Martha Jackson, a gallery owner celebrated for taking risks on edgy contemporary painters, becomes obsessed with a nineteenth-century equestrian oil painting of mysterious provenance.
Washington, DC, 2019. Jess, a Smithsonian scientist from Australia, and Theo, a Nigerian-American art historian, find themselves unexpectedly connected through their shared interest in the horse—one studying the stallion’s bones for clues to his power and endurance, the other uncovering the lost history of the unsung Black horsemen who were critical to his racing success.
Based on the remarkable true story of the record-breaking thoroughbred Lexington, Horse is a novel of art and science, love and obsession, and our unfinished reckoning with racism.
The Music Hall Executive Director: Tina Sawtelle
New Hampshire Public Radio President & CEO: Jim Schachter
Writers on a New England Stage Interviewer: Julia Furukawa
New Hampshire Public Radio Producer: Sara Plourde
The Music Hall Production Manager: Aidan Kellerman
The Music Hall Live Sound & Recording Engineer: Ian Martin
Musical Director and Band: Bob Lord and Dreadnaught
The Music Hall Literary Producer: Brittany Wason
Live song selections performed by Dreadnaught
“Lili Marlene” (Vera Lynn)
“My Old Kentucky Home” (Stephen Foster)
“The Angels Took My Racehorse Away” (Richard Thompson)
“Camptown Races” (Stephen Foster)
“I Still Call Australia Home” (Peter Allen)