My first favorite book was an illustrated edition of James Herriot’s selected Dog Stories and soon thereafter, All Creatures Great and Small. The dry, efficient British manners. The hard-earned countryside spirit. Herriot understood the no-nonsense devotion I feel for my trusty sidekick, Delaney, our family lab. Herriot talks of his veterinary work, “I think it was the fact that I liked it so much that made the writing just come out of me.”
This week’s program will feature the mystifying mammal Mr. Basketball of Alison Espach’s The Adults, the illustrious wit of Hannah Tinti’s Animal Crackers and The Good Thief, and Alison Smith’s story of survival, Name All the Animals. As always, we’ll be at 7pm at Pianos NYC (158 Ludlow), in the upstairs lounge, $8 admission.
All the proceeds from the door will be going straight to THE WOODSTOCK FARM ANIMAL SANCTUARY (check out the video above). The WFAS provides shelter to cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, ducks, sheep, and goats whom have been rescued from cases of abuse, neglect and abandonment.
Also this week, Freerange’s own Mira Ptacin dispatches on her early years in Brooklyn as a for-hire dogwalker and New York’s four-legged elite in “Arf Brut.” Mira’s snappy, electric prose can be found in our weekly feature, Freshly Hatched, and here’s a delectable snippet: I met Bowman and Tillamook during my first year in Brooklyn. As a young writer living in New York, I’d taken lots of day jobs to make rent: I copyedited mutual-funds guidebooks, and transcribed Fox News reports. One data-entry job on Wall Street was so insipid that I would sneak off to the break room and pour the contents of dry cocoa-mix packets into my mouth as a pick-me-up. Then I became a professional dogwalker…READ ON. This special lady is Freerange’s momma bird, and one of my all-time favorite essayists.
James Herriot says, “If a farmer calls me to a sick animal, he couldn’t care less if I were George Bernard Shaw.” We at Freerange might actually enjoy a wordsmith veterinarian (a chicken-on-a-typewriter of sorts). But as Woodstock tells us, all kinds of life are precious. The writers and animals, great and small. See you on Wednesday, friends!
Molly Rose Quinn, Managing Director