First Person Rural: Essays of a Sometime Farmer

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David R. Godine Publisher, 1990 - Literary Collections - 144 pages
2 Reviews
Imagine a large family gathering. There are a couple of cousins who have never met before, a teacher from New York and a lifetime Vermonter. Over yonder are four bearded brothers talking to Uncle Philip, who sells life insurance. Sitting in the corner is Aunt Sarah who, raises hens.This book is a bit like such a gathering. The essays in it, all concerned with countryish things, range from intensely practical to mildly literary. Transplanted from New York fifteen years ago and now a real life Vermont farmer, Noel Perrin candidly admits to hilarious early mistakes ('In Search of the Perfect Fence Post') while presenting down-to-earth advice on such rural necessities as 'Sugaring on $15 a Year,' 'Raising Sheep,' and 'Making Butter in the Kitchen.'But as everyone who has read his essay in The New Yorker, Country Journal, and Vermont Life will confirm, not everything Perrin writes is strictly about the exigencies of country life. While one essay seems to discuss the use of wooden sap buckets, it really addresses the nature of illusion and reality as they co-exist in rural places. Another forewarns those who consider the country of idyllic retreat. This is a delightful book, and twelve marvelous vignettes by Stephen Harvard accompany the text.
 

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User Review  - DeputyHeadmistress - LibraryThing

The Washington Post called him a rural essayist in their obituary for him, and said that his writing showed a well-furnished mind. I concur. This was an easy to read, but thought provoking and ... Read full review

Contents

BARTER
3
THE GRADES 0F MAPLE SYRUP
11
MAKING BUTTER IN THE KITCHEN
20
BUYING A PICKUP TRUCK
28
JAN LINCKLAENS VERMONT
39
A COOL MORNING IN VERMONT
51
BUYING A CHAINSAW
59
IN SEARCH OF THE PERFECT FENCE POST
65
RAISING SHEEP
74
FLOW GENTLY SWEET MAPLE
81
TELL ME PRETTY BILLBOARD
94
THE WOODEN BUCKET PRINCIPLE
102
THE OTHER SIDE
112
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About the author (1990)

Perrin has taught English at Dartmouth College since 1959, while learning and writing about the ways of rural New England.

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