Farm Girl is a memoir of urgent grace that crosses boundaries of genre and time. In her second year of college, Megan finds herself bonded to a lover spiraling into addiction and two thousand miles away from her heart’s home‚ÄĒa stretch of forty certified-organic acres along the banks of the Connecticut River separating Vermont and New Hampshire. In the crucible of a rainy Portland winter, Megan is forced to decide whether to embrace her future as a farm girl or to continue growing into the woman everyone hopes she’ll become. Farm Girl is about two love affairs that force a decision: the love between two people and the love between Megan and the landscape. With innovative prose and lush description, Farm Girl raises the earth up as a character and asks questions about the work we choose to sustain us‚ÄĒhow careful attention and devotion to the earth transcends human tragedy.
Praise for the Writing of Megan Baxter
‚ÄúBaxter’s lyricism knits these pieces together¬†to create a unique coming-of-age story that never fails to surprise. From childhood illness to opal mining, planning a wedding, farming and family ghost stories the topics of these essays roam like their narrator through a decade of experimentation, failure, and revelation. Poetic and rich, The Coolest Monsters is a stunning debut from a bold young writer.‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒAnn Hood, author of Comfort: A Journey Through Grief
‚ÄúA young essayist with a flair for poetic imagery offers a rites-of-passage collection that could almost be a memoir…‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒKirkus Review
Praise for FARM GIRL
‚ÄúA startlingly lovely memoir about how things die, how things grow, and how we reap what we sow . . . even when we might wish differently. Baxter‚Äôs language is as rich as the soil she tends; it will be a joy to see how she blossoms in her career.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄĒJodi Picoult, #1 NYT bestselling author of¬†The Book of Two Ways
‚ÄúIn a world of needs, those of our own as well as those of others, needs whose pursuit and fulfillment illuminate paths to becoming who we‚Äôre meant to be, how do we choose which need to meet, which path to walk? The question lies at the heart of Farm Girl, an exquisite debut memoir by the award-winning essayist and poet Megan Baxter. In oscillating passages reflecting the oscillating demands for her devotion, she chronicles with visceral eloquence the heart-wrenching tension she experienced over a tumultuous year between her makeup-and-pearls college life in Oregon with her troubled husband, and her dirt-on-the-knees farm life in Vermont whispering her home, all in writing as clear and honest and true as water. Megan Baxter is a writer to watch.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄĒRobert Braile, former environmental correspondent and book critic, The Boston Globe
‚ÄúThis book explores entanglements: with others, with the Earth, with our expectations. Baxter is indeed a farm girl, but she is also keen observer, a fine prose stylist, and a writer who marries the impulses of the head and the heart. There is deep sentiment in this book, but it never tips over the line into sentimentality. Farm Girl is too clear-eyed for that. From cultivating strawberries to trying to heal an addicted boyfriend, Baxter chronicles her journey in language that speaks with an emotional clarity certain to resonate with readers.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄĒSue William Silverman, author of How to Survive Death and Other Inconveniences
‚ÄúAn expertly rendered memoir of land, loss, and love.¬†Farm Girl¬†confronts and ultimately celebrates the beautiful, painful complexity of both the earth and the human heart.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄĒStephanie Anderson, author of¬†One Size Fits None: A Farm Girl‚Äôs¬†Search for the Promise of Regenerative Agriculture
It was the biggest onion harvest the crew had seen, and we are all grinning…
‚ÄúA photo printed on the last page of Megan Baxter’s memoir is captioned ‘The crew at Cedar Circle Farm [& Education Center], circa 2008.’ It’s Baxter’s favorite photo of herself, she writes ‚ÄĒ unposed on an old truck full of onions at the East Thetford farm at the end of a hefty harvest, with a huge smile and messy hair.
The Hanover, N.H., native’s memoir recounts the year that began with her sixth summer working on the farm. Baxter juxtaposes the growth in the fields with the distance growing between her and her faraway fianc√©, who’d fallen into addiction.
In this rich account of the rhythms of farming along the Vermont side of the Connecticut River ‚ÄĒ and a long, lonely winter in Portland, Ore. ‚ÄĒ the Pushcart Prize-winning essayist captures the pain of a tense reunion in an off-the-grid cabin and the hangover resulting from a tequila-fueled argument. Then she brings readers into a foggy cornfield at dawn, where ‘the world is reduced to rows of wet stalks.’‚ÄĚ
On this episode, Blake chats with author Megan Baxter about her new memoir, Farm Girl. (link)
About the Author
Megan Baxter grew up in Hanover, New Hampshire, just across the river from the fields she grew to love during her days as a farm girl. She worked as a farmer while earning her BFA in poetry and directed an urban nonprofit garden during her MFA program. Megan’s essays have won numerous national awards including a Pushcart Prize, and have been listed in The Best American Essays of 2019.
INSTAGRAM¬†@meganlbaxter ¬†‚ÄĘ ¬†TWITTER¬†@MeganBaxter ‚ÄĘ ¬†FACEBOOK¬†@meganbaxterauthor
About the Cover Artist
Mirabel Kermond is an artist located in Portland, Maine, with a focus on ceramics and prints inspired by plants and nature. Mirabel works out of Running With Scissors Art Studios @rwsartstudios. She completed her undergrad at Syracuse University as a ceramics major. Mirabel currently supports herself through a job as a server at @eastenderrestaurant, but she is working towards making her art side hustle into a more full time gig.‚Ā†
Farm Girl, a memoir
Environmental / Farming / coming-of-age
240 pages ¬†| ¬†5 x 8
Price: $19.95; E-book:¬†$9.99
Pub Date: July, 2021
Featured local bookstore: MORGAN HILL
Order from them: https://www.morganhillbookstore.com/book/9781950584543
Distributor: IPG; also available through Baker & Taylor, Ingram, and other wholesalers.
Individuals can order online at Bookshop.org, or contact your local, independent bookstore.
Booksellers, libraries, colleges/universities, gift shops, etc., can order through IPG.
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