Mooney, Nan 1970-
MOONEY, Nan 1970-
PERSONAL: Born 1970, in Seattle, WA. Education: Scripps College, B.A. Hobbies and other interests: Boxing, travel.
CAREER: Writer; worked variously as an actor, editor, literacy tutor, and exerciser of polo ponies.
My Racing Heart: The Passionate World of Thoroughbreds and the Track, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2001.
Regular contributor to Blood Horse (thoroughbred horse-racing journal); contributor to Slate online.
SIDELIGHTS: Author Nan Mooney was no stranger to writing before she began working on her first book. She began her adult life in the theater, majoring in it in college and working as playwright and as an actor after she graduated. In her twenties she also worked as a writer and editor in the publishing and film industries.
Mooney's love of horses, the subject of her first book My Racing Heart: The Passionate World of Thoroughbreds and the Track, was given to her by her beloved grandmother May-May. Her grandmother taught her the intricacies of track life, and as a child Mooney loved to ride bareback on her cousins' ponies or on any other horse that was available. After May-May died Mooney abandoned the track for a time, but when Mooney saw the Kentucky Derby being broadcast on a whole bank of televisions at a Radio Shack in which she was shopping, her love returned and spawned My Racing Heart. Part memoir and part history of thoroughbred racing, the book is "a fine introduction to the racetrack that's also a dazzlingly successful blind date, deeply and unexpectedly satisfying, between readers and thoroughbreds," declared a Kirkus Reviews contributor.
Other reviewers expressed particular praise for the memoir side of Mooney's tale. Her "account of her relationship with May-May is the freshest, most touching aspect of her book," noted New York Times contributor Bill Barich, who also commented that "Mooney's chief virtue as a writer is her ardor. She wants us to care as much as she does."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, January 1, 2002, Dennis Dodge, review of My Racing Heart: The Passionate World of Thoroughbreds and the Track, p. 793.
Dallas Morning News, June 19, 2002, Gary West, review of My Racing Heart, p. 10C.
Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 2002, review of My Racing Heart, pp. 32-33.
Library Journal, January, 2002, Patsy E. Gray, review of My Racing Heart, p. 114.
New York Times, April 14, 2002, Bill Barich, review of My Racing Heart, p. 10.
O, April, 2002, Lisa Shea, review of My Racing Heart, p. 192.
Nan Mooney Web site,http://myracingheart.com (May 22, 2003).*