The stories in this collection draw variously on the themes of love and loss, Taoist metaphors, socio-political concerns, and the writer's place and role in the world. Literary and complex yet accessible and fast-paced, each story differs widely in style, motivation, philosophy, and denouement from all the others. The collection encompasses topographies and places from China to France, and Ireland to India.
REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS
Books of the Year 2015, The Australian. ~ Felicity Plunkett, poet and critic
The precisely realized yet dreamlike settings of Aashish Kaul's stories, the fastidious, melancholy sensibility of their no-longer-young narrators, lead us directly into the territory of late modernism, of Borges and Beckett and Nabokov. ~ J.M. Coetzee
Kaul has done a very necessary thing in A Dream of Horses, which is to mount a passionate and sensual defense of what literature can do for us explorers of the abyss in these anti-literate, imagistic times. He has not done it in the common way but rather in the best possible. Without drawing a circle between those who find their eyes brightened by the printed word and all the rest of humanity, without fetishizing books and the lifestyle that accompanies them, and, above all, without dwelling on that singularly boring individual known as the author, he has nonetheless penned a very sensitive and intricate investigation of the literary sensibility. ~ Scott Esposito (from the Introduction)
It is the journey of the artist and the artist's examination of self that Kaul alludes to consistently in his fictions. . . . Kaul is a poet of space and silences, of absence and dream, a journeyman through text and the fictional experience. The lived is translated into the contemplated and is created in a brushstroke - such is the condition of the artist. His stories are like the Oneirocritica on the modernist urge and method, the dream of a dreamer who is aware of his dream. . . . This is an admirable first collection that may become a singularity to Kaul's later work. Kaul writes in deeply rhythmic prose [and] has crafted seven seductive, necessarily orphic stories that linger like the taste of pomegranates. ~ Christopher Cyrill, Southerly (Australia)
This is a magical book that celebrates the magic of books and traces the joys and heartaches that are bound to the process of translating the imagination into words on the page. For the reader of A Dream of Horses & Other Stories, the lines are so subtly shifted and so evocatively rendered that the sensation is one of a renewed appreciation for the power of words. ~ Joseph Schreiber, writer and editor, 3:AM Magazine & The Scofield
Involvement as a reader in this book is a major appeal, as it offers opportunities to engage the intellect profoundly, not in solving a Mystery’s puzzle, but as dialogue pushing the edges of literary innovation. This book moves the literary canon forward. ~ Literary Orphans Journal