Skip to content

By Jacqueline Baker

“Jacqueline Baker’s characters gleam as they rise off the page, undeniably and sometimes wincingly real. She is a master of prairie gothic, and The Horseman’s Graves is her tour de force.”
-Bill Gaston, author of Mont Appetit, 2002 Giller nominee


Baker_Horseman's Grave

Jacqueline Baker’s first novel has been described as a cross between Cormac McCarthy and Flannery O’Connor. Set in the Canadian mid-west, The Horseman’s Graves is a stunning evocation of a community wrestling with the forces of good and evil. The mostly German inhabitants uneasily co-exist with the last remnants of the Native Canadian community, whose myths and legends intertwine with those of their neighbors. Their survival in this harsh rural landscape is aided by the power of these ancient stories, which ultimately have a very real effect on the outcome of their lives.

An extraordinary new writer of immense power and moral vision, Jackie Baker has written an unforgettable novel about passion, sin and redemption in an immigrant community on the prairies, where the failures of one generation are passed to the next.

“In The Horseman’s Graves Jacqueline Baker does for Saskatchewan’s Sand Hills what David Adams Richards has done for New Brunswick’s Mirimachi: creates there a fictional world so haunting that we will never pass the place on a highway, a map, or in our heads, without stone-vivid memories of her imagined people, with all their flaws and beauty and tragedy. This is a disturbing giant of a novel.”
-Fred Stenson, author of The Trade

“Jacqueline Baker writes with subtlety and grace.”
-Camilla Gibb, author of Sweetness in The Belly

“In The Horseman’s Graves, the landscape and its people live vibrantly and memorably… [Baker’s] judicious plotting avoids parable and object lesson, and insists that the story of these people in this place is worth telling for its own sake. . . Authentic, and more important, well written, it speaks volumes in its spareness.”
The Globe and Mail

“The language is modernist in its spareness, the structure filmic, alternating fluidly among several narrative threads in self-contained scenes. Add to this a story that creates and sustains mystery until the very end, and the result is one of the most impressive Canadian debut novels in a long time.”
National Post

“…what a fine novel this is: it reveals a young author wonderfully in control of her voice and her material, who knows her characters’ foibles and their strengths and has at her fingertips their life-giving particulars. The Horseman’s Graves is a bewitching, satisfying read …”
The Literary Review of Canada

“Be warned: It’s a book that’ll keep you up late. And beware the murmurs coming from the waving, wind-whipped grass.”
The Hamilton Spectator

“Her writing radiates with the lights and shadows, the vastness and colours of the prairie in its seasonal phases”.
What’s on Winnipeg

“Completely compelling…[The Horseman’s Graves] is a story of hauntings – by ghosts, by one’s past, by one’s blood, by one’s ancestors, and by memories, both personal and communal.”
Quill & Quire

“Baker’s narrative command and lyrical manner of painting the landscape make it hard to believe that this is her first novel.”
Times Colonist (Vancouver)

“Though the people, incidents and storyline are convincingly executed, it is Baker’s poetic rendition of the prairie landscape that will resonate with readers.”
Winnipeg Free Press

“Baker has succeeded admirably in her novel The Horseman’s Graves, an eerie conjuring of life in a small town where rancour and vengefulness seethe below the surface of the everyday. . . . Baker’s greatest strength is her dialogue, in which we can both see and hear her characters in all of their individuality. . . . A powerful exploration of the deep undercurrents in a rural community. ”
Edmonton Journal


HarperCollins, Canada, April 2007


National Bestseller

Finalist for the 2008 Evergreen Award

Other Books by Jacqueline Baker