The New York Review of Books Reissues Raymond Kennedy's 'Ride a Cockhorse'

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06-Jul-12

Former faculty Raymond Kennedy's novel Ride a Cockhorse was reissued by The New York Review of Books' Classic series in June 2012. Originally published in 1991, the novel tells the story of a mild-mannered female loan officer run voraciously amok. It was heralded by The Washington Post reviewer Jonathan Yardley as "the best comic novel to come my way in a long time.” Brooke Allen, who recently reviewed it for Barnes & Noble, called it a "brilliantly sinister comedy" describing Kennedy's writing is  as "idiosyncratic" with a "startling mixture of the ludicrous and the appalling."  Slate also published a story in June 2012, praising the novel as "freakish, fantasic, prescience."

Raymond Kennedy began teaching creative writing at Columbia University in 1982, and remained a frequent adjunct until his retirement in 2006. Including Ride a Cockhorse Kennedy wrote eight novels, among them My Father’s Orchard (Houghton Mifflin, 1963), The Flower of the Republic (Alfred A. Knopf, 1983) and The Romance of Eleanor Gray (University Press of New England, 2003). Kennedy passed away in 2008.

About Ride a Cockhorse:

A revolution is under way at a once sleepy New England bank. Forty-five-year-old Frances Fitzgibbons has gone from sweet-tempered loan officer to insatiable force of nature almost overnight. Suddenly she’s brazenly seducing the high-school drum major, taking over her boss’s office, firing anyone who crosses her, inspiring populist fervor and publicly announcing plans to crush her local rivals en route to dominating the entire banking industry in the northeast. The terrifying new order instituted by Frankie and her offbeat goon squad (led by her devoted hairdresser and including her own son-in-law) is an awesome spectacle to behold. Brimming with snappy dialogue and gleeful obscenity, Ride a Cockhorse is a rollicking cautionary tale of small-town demagoguery.

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