The Horse Latitudes by Matthew Robinson

The Horse Latitudes by Matthew Robinson


About the Book

The Horse Latitudes follows one Cavalry platoon’s time in Baghdad, Iraq. The missions are long stretches of boredom broken by flashes of violence. The single sniper shot fired. An IED loosely buried in the roadside, waiting. A schoolyard of kids throwing fist-sized rocks at gun trucks. The enemy is vast and changing, and the downtime is a combination of homesickness, RPGs, and mortar fire. These men suffer through the war, heat, and each other. The Horse Latitudes observes not only the firefights and their aftermath, but also the soldiers’ struggles within themselves: how to fight a faceless enemy, what it means to serve, how one soldiers, what makes a man, what makes a good man, what it might mean to die for this, and what it might mean not to.

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"Bold and radiant and spare, The Horse Latitudes confronts the question of how to tell a true war story—and the results are breathtaking. Robinson writes with tenderness and gallows wit about American soldiers in Baghdad who come to grips with fear, grief, and desire in a hypermasculine military culture. A stark, exquisite dispatch." —Leni Zumas, author of The Listeners

“Perhaps one of the more exemplary depictions of that true nature [of military service], a certain exception among other narratives…This is the military I remember. These things must be seen. These moments must be documented.” —Consequence Magazine

"Robinson's clear-eyed account of a band of young soldiers stationed in Iraq is remorseless yet compassionate, bone-dry yet fierce as the desert winds. Their voices linger long after the book is closed: you will not forget them." —Diana Abu-Jaber, author of Birds of Paradise

“The writing is beautiful, tense, spare, violent, fragile, and full of humanity. The Horse Latitudes deserves its place alongside Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried and Kevin Powers’s The Yellow Birds as some of the best writing about the psychology of the modern soldier.” —Michael K., Annie Bloom’s Books

"Robinson's work is wholly original. One immediately understands that he will be taking us into territory that we have not had the privilege of reading about until now." —Dana Johnson, author of In the Not Quite Dark

The Horse Latitudes is an extraordinary debut that illuminates the dark corners of combat with grim, biting humor and matter-of-fact eloquence.” —Lily Brooks-Dalton, author of Good Morning, Midnight


Matthew Robinson writes fiction, creative nonfiction, and personal essays. He holds an MFA from Portland State University, where he also teaches writing. The recipient of a 2016 Oregon Literary Fellowship, his fiction has been published in O-Dark-Thirty, Nailed Magazine, Gobshite Quarterly, Split Lip Magazine, and Clackamas Literary Review. He served six years in the Oregon Army National Guard, deploying to Baghdad, Iraq, in 2004. The Horse Latitudes is his first book.