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Geraldine Brooks on the Heart of a Horse: A Novelist's Portrait

In-Person and Online Program

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Monday, June 27, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET
Code: 1J0187
In-person Ticket Holders: Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)
Online Ticket Holders: Zoom
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Geraldine Brooks (Photo: Randi Baird)

In-person ticket holder update: The location of this program will be the S. Dillon Ripley Center (originally Rasmuson Theater).  

Registration Advisory: This program has multiple ticket options depending on your choice to attend in person at the S. Dillon Ripley Center or as an online program using Zoom. Before you register, please refer to our in-person vs. online program procedural documentation to learn about our current terms and conditions.

The true story of the remarkable 19th-century racehorse Lexington, who became America’s greatest stud sire, provides the framework for Horse, the newest novel from Pulitzer Prize–winning author Geraldine Brooks. 

Brooks braids three time periods in the narrative: 1850s Kentucky, where an enslaved groom named Jarret and the bay foal forge a bond of understanding that carries Lexington to record-setting victories across the South. New York City in the early 1950s, where a gallery owner becomes obsessed with a 19th-century equestrian oil painting of mysterious provenance. And the Smithsonian in 2019, where a scientist from Australia and 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 using the portrait to uncover the lost history of the unsung Black horsemen who were critical to his racing success.

In a conversation with Rebecca Boggs Roberts, curator of programming at Planet Word Museum, Brooks offers fascinating insights into a novel that explores art and science, the bond between people and animals, and the continuing story of race and injustice.

Horse (Viking) is available for purchase.

Book Sale Information

  • Purchase your copy of Horse by Geraldine Brooks here.
  • SPECIAL NOTE: Politics and Prose is offering a 10% discount to Smithsonian Associates ticket-holders. To claim your discount, enter the code SPECIAL10 (no space between letters and numbers) in the “Coupon discount” section on Politics and Prose's check-out page.
  • For In-Person Program Patrons: The featured book will be available to purchase at the program.