Goat Song: A Seasonal Life, A Short History of Herding, and the Art of Making Cheese (Paperback)

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Goat Song: A Seasonal Life, A Short History of Herding, and the Art of Making Cheese By Brad Kessler Cover Image
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Staff Reviews

The author treats us to lyrical musings on a pastoral existence from the unsavory hormonal posturings of the billy goat to the sublime communication between a sweet milk goat and her keeper. He leads us on an important guided tour of an almost abandoned lifestyle, where a lovingly hand made cheese can be the equivalent of poetry or music and self knowledge is gained through a work cycle which connects us to beginnings as well as endings. — Karen Frank

A love song to the seasons, to the fields, and to the goats. The most elegant prose about soft cheese I've ever read. — Laurel Rhame

July 2009 Indie Next List

“When writer Brad Kessler and his photographer wife leave successful Manhattan lives for the country to raise goats and make cheese, the adventure begins. And what an adventure it is. I loved this book!”
— Jackie Blem, Tattered Cover Bookstore, Denver, CO


Goat Song is the story of a year in the life of a couple who abandoned their one-bedroom apartment in New York City to live on seventy-five acres in Vermont and raise Nubian goats. In poetic, reverent detail, Brad Kessler explores our ancient relationship to the land and our gradual alienation from the animals that feed us. His fascinating account traces his journey of choosing the goats and learning how to breed, milk, and care for them. As Kessler begins to live the life of a herder, he encounters the pastoral roots of so many aspects of Western culture—how our diet, our alphabet, our religions, poetry, and economy all grew out of a pastoralist setting, a life lived among hoofed animals.

About the Author

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.  

Praise For…

“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

Product Details
ISBN: 9781416561002
ISBN-10: 1416561005
Publisher: Scribner
Publication Date: June 8th, 2010
Pages: 272
Language: English