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Notes from the Henhouse [MAR.19]
A sharp and witty collection of autobiographical essays by the late Elspeth Barker—acclaimed journalist and author of the beloved modern classic O Caledonia.
Following the publication of her acclaimed, darkly funny novel O Caledonia, Elspeth Barker’s sharp and witty essays appeared regularly in the national press. Notes from the Henhouse, a selection of the most personal of these pieces, welcomes readers into the celebrated writer’s life.
Tracing Barker’s upbringing from her Scottish roots, these essays beautifully capture her time with the poet George Barker and her profound sense of loss following his death. She writes about George’s former lover Elizabeth Smart and other figures from 1950s bohemia and 1960s counterculture. Pieces like “Thoughts in a Garden,” equal parts hilarious and moving, read like dispatches from the front lines of country living, depicting the vagaries of raising a large family and assorted pets in a damp and drafty farmhouse.
Vivid, charming, and wholly original, Notes from the Henhouse is a wonderful glimpse into the life of an extraordinary writer.
Paperback | 240 pages | 5.50" x 8.37"
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