With this haunting first volume of his Into Their Labours trilogy, John Berger begins his chronicle of the eclipse of peasant cultures in the twentieth century. Set in a small village in the French Alps, Pig Earth relates the stories of skeptical, hard-working men and fiercely independent women; of calves born and pigs slaughtered; of summer haymaking and long dark winters f rest; of a message of forgiveness from a dead father to his prodigal son; and of the marvelous Lucie Cabrol, exiled to a hut high in the mountains, but an inexorable part of the lives of men who have known her. Above all, this masterpiece of sensuous description and profound moral resonance is an act of reckoning that conveys the precise wealth and weight of a world we are losing.
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October 27, 1992
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