The Cow Book : A Story of Life on a Family Farm
by John Connell
Editor: GRANTA BOOKS
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Farming has been in John Connell’s family for generations, but he never intended to follow in his father’s footsteps.Until one winter, he finds himself back on the farm and begins to learn the farmer’s ways and the way of cows.Connell records the hypnotic rhythm of the day of agriculture – cleaning the commons, milking the herd, which tends to sickly lambs, helping the cows give birth.But aside from the routine of events, there are unforeseen moments when things go wrong: when a calf does not succeed in blossoming, when a sheep is missing, when the disease breaks out, when depression sets in, when an argument breaks out and things are said that cannot be said.The Book Cow is the story of a calving seasonIt is also the story of the cow itself, from her domestication and worship as a god by the Egyptians from ancient times to the modern practice of mechanized herds, through the figure of the cowboy, the destruction of the American buffalo, the disappearance of the indigenous jackaroos and the consequences of BSE.And, above all, it is Connell’s story of the life of a farmer, his relationship with his birthplace in Longford County, with the community around the family farm, with the animals, he tends, and with his father.
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