Forging A Life

“It was a hard note to write. But on that December afternoon in 1974, not long before his twenty-seventh birthday, Mike Wharton forced himself to put on paper the words that had been forming and reforming in his mind for days.”

Mike Wharton is a farrier—a shoer of horses—from a long line of farriers. A very long line. This short nonfiction book tells the story of one man’s quest to put the broken pieces of a life back together and find a new way forward. It’s about the eternal human need to knit together the future and the past, and to find new meaning in both. It’s about horses and war and fire and innovative technology. And love.

Now available for the first time as an ebook, Forging a Life was originally published online at Pulitzer-winning writer Jon Franklin’s groundbreaking narrative journalism site, Bylines, in 1997. It won the 2002 River Teeth prize for narrative reportage, and was published, in slightly different form, in that literary journal’s fall, 2002 edition.

Available now at:

Amazon.com