Thursday, October 13, 2011

Top ten farming novels

Belinda McKeon, an award-winning playwright and journalist, was born in Ireland in 1979 and grew up on her parents' farm. She studied literature at Trinity College, Dublin, and worked as an arts writer for The Irish Times. McKeon has an MFA in creative writing from Columbia and lives in Brooklyn and Ireland.

Her debut novel is Solace.

At the Guardian, McKeon named her top ten farming novels.

One title on the list:
Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons

Another one in which a young woman comes to stay with her farming relatives in the middle of nowhere. This, like every other trope of the farming novel, is booted up the yard with fond irreverence by Gibbons in her 1932 satire. Broke, orphaned Flora Poste has decamped to Sussex, to the farm of the Starkadders, where the cows have names like Pointless and Aimless and the dialogue is so earthy as to be worm-eaten. Those of us who love our farming novels need to check in with this one every once in a while.
Read about the other novels on McKeon's list.

Cold Comfort Farm is one of John Mullan's ten best parodies in literature and Lisa Armstrong's top books on shoes.

--Marshal Zeringue