Jean Harper speaks about love, resiliency and persistence

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Jean Harper’s book may be inspired by the depths of a friendship she formed with a horse, but you don’t need to be a horse-lover to find meaning in this book. If you’ve ever been in a dead-end relationship, found yourself in a stagnant place when you yearned to grow, or tolerated someone simply because it was easier than making a difficult change, this book will speak to you.

Harper says once you find the capacity to love deeply, you will always have that ability. When you are doing something you believe in, whether it be writing a story that needs to be told, learning to ride a horse, or learning to love, keep doing it and your experience will pay off. This is perhaps why Harper never gave up on telling the story of Still Life with Horses. She knew it had to be told and that it had the capacity to inspire others. Listen to her interview and then pick up this life-changing book!

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Still Life with Horses Makes SPD Nonfiction Bestseller List

Still Life with Horses Makes SPD Nonfiction Bestseller List

The Howling Bird Press Nonfiction Prize Winner for 2017, Still Life with Horses by Jean Harper, made the Small Press Distribution Nonfiction Bestseller list for October–December 2017. This candid and poignant memoir chronicles the quest to live ethically while navigating a changing personal and professional landscape. Within the story of a relationship with a beloved horse, Harper explores how animals can keep us grounded when humans fail us. Set in the Midwestern Rust Belt, the book gives a timely and telling glimpse into rural, working class America.

Please click on image to enlarge.  SPD Nonfiction Bestsellers, October- December 2017
View complete listing for SPD Nonfiction Bestsellers

Recently, Howling Bird Press editor Jannet Walsh talked to Harper about this honor and the experience of working with a teaching press like Howling Bird.

During the editing process for my book, Still Life with Horses, I found myself having a new appreciation for great editors,” said Jean Harper.

“The students at Howling Bird Press were fantastic to work with, as was Jim Cihlar who led the editing process. I think most helpful was the attention to the various story lines that wind through the book; the editing focused on making sure story lines were consistent, coherent, and maintained. It really came down to small tinkerings here and there, which made all the difference.”

“For me as a writer this has renewed my focus on the small things, and how each detail is like a star in a constellation; you miss one star, or don’t focus on it, and the constellation loses its overall coherence and lucidity. Good editors help you think about that both in the editing stages, and then, internalizing that, when you are making something new.”

Located in Berkeley, California, Small Press Distribution specializes in helping independent publishers and writers with distribution, information services and public advocacy programs, focused on small publishers.

Howling Bird Press is a student-run publishing house at Augsburg University located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The press launched in 2014 and is part of the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program at Augsburg University:

Find Still Life with Horses online and at your local independent bookstore!
Book page for Still Life with Horses at SPD

Still Life with Horses at Howling Bird Press
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