Goat Song

Goat Song

A Seasonal Life, A Short History of Herding, and the Art of Making Cheese

Book - 2009
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Baker & Taylor
The author, a novelist, describes his life as he and his wife moved to a farm in Vermont, becoming a goatherd and cheesemaker.

Blackwell North Amer
Acclaimed novelist Brad Kessler lived in New York City but longed for a life on the land where he could grow his own food. After years of searching for a home, he and his wife, photographer Dona Ann McAdams, found a mountain farmhouse on a dead-end road, with seventy-five acres of land. One day, when Dona returned home with fresh goat milk from a neighbor's farm, Kessler made a fresh chevre, and their life changed forever. They decided to raise dairy goats and make cheese.
Goat Song tells about what it's like to live intimately with animals who directly feed you. As Kessler begins to live the life of a herder - learning how to care for and breed and birth goats - he encounters the pastoral roots of so many aspects of Western culture. Kessler reflects on the history and literature of herding, and how our diet, our alphabet, our religions, poetry, and economy all grew out of a pastoralist milieu among hoofed animals.
Kessler and his wife adapt to a life governed by their goats and the rhythm of the seasons. And their goats give back in immeasurable ways, as Kessler proves to be a remarkable cheesemaker, with his first tomme of goat cheese winning lavish praise from America's premier cheese restaurants.
In the tradition of Thoreau's Walden and Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Goat Song is both a spiritual quest and a compelling and beautiful chronicle of living by nature's rules.

Simon and Schuster
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.

Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2009
ISBN: 9781416560999
Branch Call Number: 636.39 KESSL


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JCLHelenH May 10, 2016

“I’ve been following these goats back home each day, but where they lead surprises me still. I want to take you there.” Follow Kessler and his goats. Even if you have no interest in goats or making cheese, you won’t regret it.

Sep 01, 2011

This is one of the best books I have read. I loved the funny and warm story and the wonderful tidbits and historical information woven into the content.
This is a fantastic book for city dwellers who dream of a life in the country with goats. It's a real eye-opener!

Aaron_McGuire Jul 19, 2011

Had a little bit of a hard time getting into this one. The 'beautiful writing about how nice the author's life is' genre is a bit hard to take in an ugly winter in a trash-strewn neighborhood. Once summer hit and I'd moved someplace nicer, I picked it up again and found the easy pace, insightful asides and information about the basics of herding life to be a very pleasant read.


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JCLHelenH May 10, 2016

"Good poetry bypasses the head and enters the heart without the gray matter getting in the way."


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