I never thought reading a memoir of farming life would delight and move me as much as My Father and Other Animals: How I Took on the Family Farm by Sam Vincent.
After his father has a near fatal accident, city boy Vincent’s life takes a dramatic turn, when he’s summoned back to the family farm.
His farming education includes the intricacies of bull buying, the perils of fencing, and the less than favourable act of animal slaughter. The wisdom, sarcasm and dry humour of Vincent’s father also ripple entertainingly through the pages.
While hilarity abounds, Vincent – as an experienced journalist – also delves into some of the deeper themes of farming, including regenerative farming practices and how they might help address some of the effects of climate change, the city-country divide, the role of women in farming, and Indigenous and non-Indigenous connection to country.
Ultimately, this book is a celebration of the love of land and builds bridges of understanding that will appeal to a broad cross-section of readers.
My Father and Other Animals: How I Took on the Family Farm by Sam Vincent won the Prime Minister’s Literary Award 2023 for non-fiction.