“A calf is born. An old woman mates two goats on a freezing night. A young boy helps butcher a pig while learning from his grandfather the history of his family and community. A crazed cow tries to mount a man. A stubborn peasant kidnaps two officials who try to tax alcohol he has distilled from his apple trees, and ends up in jail. These are the characters evoked by John Berger’s stark, beautiful prose in this compelling story teller’s history of a French peasant community. [...] This is the world of old women whose sons have abandoned them and the land for the city; of old men whose children will reject their traditions; of the very young who hear of a past they can no longer inherit; of animals who are the silent witnesses to it all. [...] Pig Earth, an extraordinary combination of essay and fiction, is the first part of Into Their Labours, a trilogy which will trace the intricate movement from peasant society to metropolis [which also includes Once in Europe and Lilac and Flag].” (Flap Copy)
Although a resident of France for 50 years, John Berger was an English novelist, poet, painter, Marxist theorist, and art critic. His work on the 1972 BBC television program Ways of Seeing and its accompanying monograph cemented Berger as a unique and influential voice in art criticism. As an aside, Berger lent his physical voice two twin characters in the video game Grand Theft Auto: London 1969, a true renaissance man interested in all kind of people and all kinds of art, high and low. In 1972, Berger won the Black Memorial Prize and Booker Prize for his novel G, a picaresque romance set in 1898 Europe. He donated half of the Booker Prize money to the British Black Panthers and used the other half to fund his study on migrant workers titled A Seventh Man. In 2009 Berger donated his archives to the British Library, and he passed away 2017 at the age of 90.
- Title: Pig Earth
- Author: John Berger
- Publisher: Pantheon Books
- Place: New York
- Year: 1979
- Edition: First American Edition
- Length: 213pp
- Dimensions: 5” x 8.5”
- Condition: The dustjacket is in good shape, a little scuffed and worn with two tears along the edges and some sticker residue. The tear at the bottom of the jacket spine has been taped. The black paper and cloth covered boards are in great conditions with metallic bronze titles on the cover and spine. The binding is tight. The pages are clean and crisp—no folds, tears, or extraneous marks. There is a crack separating the front pastedown at the hinge from the front endpapers.