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Carol Emshwiller

Mister Boots

Viking, New York, 2005, 185 pp, cover Jim Hoover

Puffin Books, 2007, pb


Set in Depression era America, Bobby Lassiter and her family are poor even in comparison
to their struggling neighbours. One day, out in the desert, Bobby finds Boots. Sometimes Boots
is a man, and sometimes Boots is a horse.  

Carol Emshwiller (1921 - ) was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, but spent her childhood yo-yoing between France and America. As a result, she still finds spelling difficult, and even at university, was resistant to the very idea of literature. It was science fiction that drew her into writing. She and her husband, Ed Emsh were passionate about the experimental music, art and writing movements of the 1960s. Although still keen on the music and dancing, she prefers post-modern literature now. Her writing, she says, even if experimental is still planned and plotted. She prefers to write from the viewpoint of the unreliable narrator.


Her science fiction has won a World Fantasy Award (The Start of the End of it All) and the Philip K Dick Award (The Mount, which was also a Nebula Award Finalist). She teaches in the NYU Continuing Education program.


Carol Emshwiller has written one book with equine content; it’s set in America during the Depression, and is a fantasy about a man who oscillates between being human and being horse.


Finding the book: no longer in print, but easy to find.


Links and sources

Carol Emshwiller’s website

Carol Emshwiller’s papers are held in the North Illinois University

Carol Emshwiller on Wikipedia

Bibliography - horse books only