A Seasonal Life, A Short History of Herding, and the Art of Making Cheese
Scribner, Hardcover, 9781416560999, 256pp.
Publication Date: June 23, 2009
A gorgeously observed chronicle about getting out of the city and living life on the land, in the tradition of Anne Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.
When acclaimed novelist Brad Kessler started to feel unsatisfied by his Manhattan lifestyle, he opted to tackle his issues of over-consumption and live a more eco-friendly life. He and his wife moved to a seventy-five acre goat farm in a small southern Vermont town, where they planned to make a living raising goats and making cheese. They never looked back. Now Kessler adds to his numerous accomplishments (winner of the 2007 Dayton Literary Peace Prize, 2007 Whiting Award for Writers of Exceptional Promise, and a 2008 Rome Prize) an array of cheeses that have already been highly praised by Artisanal, the renowned cheese restaurant in New York City.
In his transformation from staunch urbanite to countrified goat farmer, Kessler explores the rustic roots of so many aspects of Western culture, and how our diet, alphabet, reli- gions, poetry, and economy all grew out of a pastoral setting. With Goat Song, he demonstrates yet another dimension to his writing talent, showcasing his expertise as food writer, in a compelling, beautifully written account of living by nature’s rules.
Brad Kessler’s novel Birds in Fall won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. His other books include Lick Creek and The Woodcutter’s Christmas. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Nation, The Kenyon Review, and BOMB, as well as other publications. He is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, and the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
“A wonderous little miracle of a book.”--Tom Ashbrook, National Public Radio
"Goat Song offers a meditation on the pastoral life…that will make an urbanite regret having missed the experience.”— The Wall Street Journal
"The writing is so beautiful you want to reread sentences to savor it."--San Francisco Chronicle
"A multi-layered, smart, erudite, and incredibly well written book."--Christian Science Monitor