The Big Quiet (memoir) ISBN (print) 978-1-7342477-4-9 Pages: 177 Paperback: $20.00
Author: Lisa D. Stewart Publication: July 2020 Audience: adult, women’s creative non-fiction
[Emporia, Kansas, July 2020] The Big Quiet: One Woman’s Horseback Ride Home, leads the reader into middle America on a woman’s solo horseback trip, 500 miles through Kansas and Missouri. The memoir by Lisa D. Stewart is released this month by Meadowlark Books.
At the age of 54, Stewart, who grew up in the Midwest, sets out to fulfill a girlhood dream, to test whether her real self still exists and to discover whether the country she loved has disappeared. She rides alone, getting to know her horse, enduring scorching heat, surviving microbursts, overcoming her fears of the unknown, and risking the danger of sharing byways with cars and trucks. Without support crew or GPS, she knocks on the rural doors of strangers when her horse needs water and a patch of shade.
Stewart is a commercial writer and business consultant in Kansas City. With her first husband, Len Brown, she was co-owner of Ortho-Flex Saddle Company, which made and sold 25,000 patented saddles with accessories all over the world.
The Big Quiet can be ordered anywhere books are sold, including Lisa’s website, www.lisadstewart.com, where you can find more information on long-distance riding and saddle fit.
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Praise for The Big Quiet—One Woman’s Horseback Ride Home.
Lisa Stewart’s The Big Quiet charts a path for all women. This is a delicious fantasy of a journey most of us deny ourselves and one taken on the back of a horse whose simultaneously terrified and fiercely loyal personality unfurls before us as the richest of characters; personalities do. The resulting narrative recounts a journey not only to a point on the map but to a whole and liberated self.
Kelly Barth, author of My Almost Certainly Real Imaginary Jesus.
This is a book of gratitude of the highest order…her journey, past and present, is as much about the people she meets, many of whom know how to study a horse and to trust its rider—these strangers are glad to offer water and their own stories, which, like Stewart’s, churn with old wounds, hard work, family, and an abiding trust in open land. This compelling meditation reminds us that every step, fall, and missed road leads the rider home.
Gary Dop, author of Father, Child, Water, MFA Program Director at Randolph College
This book is more than a log of an unusual (for this day and age) solitary horseback journey; it is also a perceptive examination of the author’s own life—a well-written introspective journey of self-discovery.
James F. Hoy, author of Flint Hills Cowboys: Tales of the Tallgrass Prairie,
Chair of Emporia State University’s English Department and professor,
past president of the Kansas Historical Society
After riding more than 3,000 miles across the United States in the early 1980s, Stewart helped launch one of that country's most successful saddle companies. Yet Lisa Stewart is no salesman, eager to sell a saddle to gain a commission. She is a long rider who made mistakes and learned by them. She faced obstacles and overcame them. She was presented with ancient riddles and discovered solutions.
CuChullaine O’Reilly, FRGS
Founding Member of The Long Riders’ Guild