Acclaimed author James Rebanks joins us from the UK to discuss his new book, Pastoral Song: A Farmer's Journey (Custom House).
“James Rebanks’s story of his family’s farm is just about perfect. It belongs with the finest writing of its kind.” — Wendell Berry
“One of the most important books of our time. Anyone who cares about our land – indeed, anyone who buys food – should read this book. Told with humility and grace, this story of farming over three generations – where we went wrong and how we can change our ways – is at the forefront of a revolution. It will be our land’s salvation.” — Isabella Tree, author of Wilding
This event will be streamed on our Crowdcast channel.
About Pastoral Song
The Acclaimed International Bestseller * Named "Nature Book of the Year" by the Sunday Times (London) * Shortlisted for the the Orwell Prize and the Royal Society of Literature's Ondaatje Prize
As a boy, James Rebanks's grandfather taught him to work the land the old way. Their family farm in the Lake District hills was part of an ancient agricultural landscape: a patchwork of crops and meadows, of pastures grazed with livestock, and hedgerows teeming with wildlife. And yet, by the time James inherited the farm, it was barely recognizable. The men and women had vanished from the fields; the old stone barns had crumbled; the skies had emptied of birds and their wind-blown song.
Hailed as "a brilliant, beautiful book" by the Sunday Times (London), Pastoral Song (published in the United Kingdom under the title English Pastoral) is the story of an inheritance: one that affects us all. It tells of how rural landscapes around the world were brought close to collapse, and the age-old rhythms of work, weather, community and wild things were lost. And yet this elegy from the northern fells is also a song of hope: of how, guided by the past, one farmer began to salvage a tiny corner of England that was now his, doing his best to restore the life that had vanished and to leave a legacy for the future.
This is a book about what it means to have love and pride in a place, and how, against all the odds, it may still be possible to build a new pastoral: not a utopia, but somewhere decent for us all.
About James Rebanks
James Rebanks runs a family-owned farm in the Lake District in northern England. A graduate of Oxford University, James works as an expert advisor to UNESCO on sustainable tourism. He uses his popular Twitter feed - @herdyshepherd1 - to share updates on the shepherding year. He is the author of The Shepherd's Life.