A Rebel History of Rural Life
by Brian Brett
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"Brett's wit and giddy ambivalence makes this account a stretch more provocative than similar rural memoirs, and an altogether compelling read" -- Publishers Weekly
"You can taste the food he describes, feel the cool morning air on naked skin, smell the dogs and feel the mud. Brett reads almost as an invitation, a provocation, to make the natural, rooted, harmonious existence our own in whatever small ways we can." -- Montreal Gazette
Winner of the 2009 Writers' Trust of Canada Non-Fiction Prize and the 2009 BC Booksellers' Choice Award
An irreverent and illuminating journey through a day in the life of the affectionately named Trauma Farm, with numerous side trips into the natural history of farming.
Beginning naked in darkness, Brian Brett moves from the tending of livestock, poultry, orchards, gardens, machinery, and fields to the social intricacies of rural communities and, finally, to an encounter with a magnificent deer in the silver moonlight of a magical farm field. Brett understands both tall tales and rigorous science as he explores the small mixed farm-meditating on the perfection of the egg and the nature of soil while also offering a scathing critique of agribusiness and the horror of modern slaughterhouses. Whether discussing the uses and misuses of gates, examining the energy of seeds, or bantering with his family, farm hands, and neighbours, he remains aware of the miracles of life, birth, and death that confront the rural world every day.
Trauma Farm tells a story that's poetic, passionate, practical, and frequently hilarious, providing an unforgettable portrait of one farm and our separation from the natural world, as well as a common-sense analysis of rural life.
- Greystone Books Ltd., October 2009
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