Courtney Maum

Courtney Maum is the author of the novels CostalegreTouch; and I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You; and a guide for writers, Before and After the Book Deal. Her writing and essays have been widely published in such outlets as The New York Times; O, the Oprah Magazine; Interview Magazine; and Modern Loss. She lives in Litchfield County, Connecticut, where she founded the learning collaborative The Cabins.

Praise

  • Tender, honest, and beautifully written.

    —Kate Baer, #1 Bestselling author of What Kind Of Woman

  • Searing, lucid, tender and wise, The Year of the Horses is a moving, beautifully-written interrogation into a complicated, privileged childhood and its aftermath. Courtney Maum weaves together the sensory, tactile world of horses and their capacity to heal us, along with one of the most illuminating and powerful depictions of depression I have ever read. Oh, and it’s also a page-turner. I tore through it with immense pleasure.

    —Dani Shapiro

  • Gorgeously written, wry but loving, heartbreaking and, most of all, roving. . . . The Year of the Horses is a memoir of power and beauty and pain that moves across the world like the beautiful horses that carry it.

    —Lisa Taddeo, author of Animal

  • I was sold at Courtney Maum and “horses,” TBH, but pleasantly surprised to learn about the other threads in this one: Maum’s experience of reckoning with depression, plus historical portraits of other horseback-riding ladies. Saddle up, we’re going riding.

    —LitHub

  • Author of Touch and Costalegre, Courtney Maum writes honestly and openly about confronting depression in her 30s and, when all else failed, taking up horseback riding again.

    —Katie Couric Media

  • Courtney Maum dives into her own life with the same fearlessness and honesty that she brings to her fiction. The Year of the Horses is a beautiful, unflinching exploration of darkness and self-forgiveness, terror and tenderness.

    —Hala Alyan, author of Salt Houses

  • If, like me at age 50, you have a hankering to resume riding again (never mind that it’s been 34 years), this is the book for you. Courtney will show you her way to this particular form of personal salvation.

    —Sally Mann, author of Hold Still

  • Courney Maum writes not from an ideal of who she should be but as she is; it lacks performative overtones or those typical bits where the reader is assured the author is self-aware. No, it’s nothing like that—The Year of the Horses sings like the world actually feels, offering readers permission to be who we are, written by one of the best, a writer’s writer, with a maturity that reveals her decades long devotion to her craft.

    —Holly Whitaker, author of Quit Like a Woman: The Radical Choice to Not Drink in a Culture Obsessed with Alcohol

  • The concept of finding safety in a dangerous sport won’t make sense to everyone, but the way that Courtney found meaning and magic in horses resonates with me. As a polo player, I loved the sometimes laugh-out-loud journey of an adult trying against all odds to learn the sport of kings. This is a great memoir that somehow manages to be both deeply moving, and funny.

    —Kareem Rosser, author of Crossing the Line: A Fearless Team of Brothers and the Sport That Changed Their Lives Forever

  • Delightful. . . . In Lara, Maum has given a little-considered daughter a more hopeful future.

    —The New York Times Book Review

  • Taut and lush.

    —Washington Post

  • Reveals the power a mother holds over her daughter.

    —TIME

  • Delivered in spades. Highly recommended.

    —Glamour, Best Books of the Decade

  • Slender, intelligent. . . . A portrait of the young woman amidst the artists.

    —The Boston Globe

  • Beautiful. . . . A story about growing up and looking for love.

    —GOOP

  • A whimsical and poignant account of art and self-discovery, explored through the lens of a girl who yearns to be understood.

    —Buzzfeed

  • An excellent way to spend a summer weekend.

    —Vulture

  • A vividly drawn novel of family, sacrifice, and the limits of understanding.

    —Southern Living

  • A mesmerizing story of alienation, intimacy, and the elusive powers of art.

    —NYLON

  • Its charm lies less in its summarizable qualities . . . than in Maum’s superb balance between humor and grief, and her talent for saying just enough, never too much.

    —BOMB

  • Compelling. . . . freshly original and unusual.

    —Book Riot

  • Maum’s coming-of-age novel among some of Europe’s elite is heartbreaking in its evocation of a teenage girl whose mother collects artists to save but who ignores the daughter struggling not to drown.

    —Star Tribune

  • An intimate fever dream.

    —Los Angeles Review of Books

  • An arty, lavish novel, Costalegre examines one of the relationships that is often the most surreal to dissect: the one between mother and daughter.

    —Thrillist

  • A rich and delectable tale of art, love, and war.

    —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

  • A brilliantly arch and haunting novel of privilege and deprivation.

    —Booklist

  • Enchanting.

    —Kirkus, Starred Review

  • A soul-searching, atmospheric novel set in a hot, humid climate as torrid as the affairs of the characters who inhabit it.

    —Library Journal

  • Mesmerizing and unsettling, Costalegre is a wonder, and Courtney Maum shows herself once again to be a writer of many gifts. This is a book for anyone who’s ever loved, and not felt sufficiently loved in return; and for anyone who’s had to try to grow up; for, that is, everyone.

    —R.O. Kwon, author of The Incendiaries

  • As heady, delirious, and heartbreaking as a young girl just beginning to fall in love with the world.

    —Samantha Hunt, author of The Seas

  • A spectacular high-wire act that dazzles and devastates.

    —Laura van den Berg, author of The Third Hotel

  • A special book, by a writer who proves on these pages that she can do anything.

    —Julie Buntin, author of Marlena

  • Memorable and meaningful, Maum’s work remains with me as a reminder of love in the agony of teenage years and art in the terror of war.

    —Amelia Gray, author of Isadora

  • With its captivating mix of true-to-life characters and WWII history, Costalegre is surreal, intelligent, and full of integrity.

    —Mark Eisner, author of Neruda: The Biography of a Poet