Monday, May 06, 2019

An Unlikely Victory in an Unforgiving Horse Race - Full Article

By John Williams
May 5, 2019

If you like your memoirs to revolve around singular experiences, Lara Prior-Palmer’s “Rough Magic” delivers. In 2013, having recently turned 19, Prior-Palmer decided — on a whim — to enter the Mongol Derby, a rugged long-distance horse race. The competition asks participants to race for several days over 1,000 kilometers of Mongolian grassland, on a series of 25 wild ponies (a new horse every 40 kilometers). It was a “truly peculiar invention,” Prior-Palmer writes. “A Pony Express-style format that mimicked Genghis Khan’s postal system but seemed from afar more like a perfect hodgepodge of Snakes and Ladders and the Tour de France on unknown bicycles.” Prior-Palmer became the youngest person — and first woman — to win the race. Below, she talks about realizing she was writing a book, the reason she’s “inspired by creatures” and more.

When did you first get the idea to write this book?

It was written before it was to be a book, in that I was astounded by what had happened and had the clearest memory afterward, so I wrote everything down on the plane home, just clinging to it...

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