The Polish Rider
Anna Ostoya & Ben Lerner

Regular price £30.00 GBP

Embossed hardback
80 pages
23 x 31 cm

Publication date: June 2018
ISBN: 978-1-912339-01-3
€35 £30 $40


In the winter of 2015, Ben Lerner wrote a short story, The Polish Rider, incorporating fictionalized elements of the
life and work of the artist, Anna Ostoya, who had recently
lost two of her canvases in the back of an Uber. As the
narrator of the story helps the artist search for the missing
canvases, he fantasizes about “recuperating the lost
paintings through prose,” about how the verbal might
take the place of the visual. After the story was published
in The New Yorker, Ostoya painted the painting Lerner
had invented based on her earlier work, transforming the
fiction without changing any of the words. Ostoya went
on to produce a series of compositions that respond to
the story she’d helped inspire.

The Polish Rider is the result of this ongoing conversation
across media and genres. In addition to the story,
this volume includes an essay by Lerner that describes
how Ostoya’s actual body of work catalyzed the fiction,
as well as the contingencies and uncanny
correspondences that have shaped their exchange.
Ostoya’s compositions — both those that prompted
Lerner’s writing and those that take it up — are never
merely illustrative. Instead, they keep literature from
having the last word. In this unclassifiable volume, the
boundaries between fact and fiction, original and
reproduction, text and image, flicker as you read and


In the press

Brooklyn Rail
Art In America