“Snyder tunes Aganetha’s voice so beautifully at each stage of her life that the comparisons to Elizabeth Strout’s unforgettable Olive Kitteridge are inevitable. Yet Aganetha is most definitely her own person from start to finish—a process Snyder has captured with exceptional grace.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune
An unforgettable novel about competition, ambition, and a woman’s struggle to earn a place in a man’s world, Girl Runner follows young runner Aganetha Smart, who defied everyone’s expectations to win a gold medal for Canada in the 1928 Olympics. It was a revolutionary victory because these were the first Games in which women could compete in track events. Now, Aganetha is in a nursing home, and nobody realizes that the frail centenarian was once a bold pioneer.
When two strangers appear asking to interview Aganetha for a documentary about female athletes, she readily agrees. Despite her frailty, she yearns for adventure and escape, and though her achievement may have been forgotten by history, her memories of chasing gold in Amsterdam remain sharp. But that triumph is only one thread in the rich tapestry of her life, and as Aganetha’s story takes shape, it becomes clear that the power of family ties—and secrets—does not diminish through the years, and that these filmmakers may not be who they claim to be....
“Instantly mesmerizing and effortlessly beautiful.”—Kimberly McCreight, New York Times bestselling author of Reconstructing Amelia