COOP: A Year of Poultry, Pigs, and Parenting, MICHAEL PERRY. Harper 2009. I recommended Truck: A Love Story when it came out a couple of years ago, but I think Coop is even better.
We left Mike’s life adventures shortly after he married, sleeping off the excitement in the back of his pickup, and here we pick up as he, his wife, and his daughter Amy, plus a new little Perry on the way move into a Wisconsin farmhouse that has seen better days, sited on thirty-seven acres of overgrown farmland. The year ahead will hold chicken and pig escapades, a baby birthed at home by a midwife, reminiscences of his own farm childhood, with touches of sweet appreciation for his family life and keen observations about the unexpected hand of fate in each of our lives.
Perry is witty and writes well. He doesn’t go for the braying laughter we encounter in much of the fodder produced in Hollywood. He elicits belly-shaking snorts and blasts of laughter by speaking of the secret thoughts we all share, the everyday absurdities and joy life offers in abundance if you are paying attention.
-- Rosemary Carstens