The Dirty Life | Granta

  • Published: 07/04/2011
  • ISBN: 9781846273711
  • Granta Books
  • 288 pages

The Dirty Life

Kristin Kimball

Kristin Kimball had no plans to become a farmer. But then she met Mark and everything changed. Within a few months, she’d traded her high heels, vegetarian diet and city apartment for a pair of boots, a troupe of chickens, and a shared commitment to turning 500 swampy acres into an organic community farm. Passionate, inspiring and beautifully written, this is a true story of following your dreams and learning to grow your own happiness.

In her beguiling memoir, Kimball describes the complex truth about the simple life in prose that is observant and lyrical, yet tempered by a farmer's lack of sentimentality ... This is a grown-up love story about falling in love twice, with a man and with the land, and learning how to devote oneself fully to both

Elle (US)

[An] inspiring adventure of losing her heart to a man and the land.

Vogue, Required Reading

The Dirty Life is passionate, inspiring, and well written, a page-turner for anyone who has ever dreamed of settling into a very different way of life... Captivating.

Imen McDonnell, Irish Times

The Author

Before becoming a farmer, Kristin Kimball graduated from Harvard University and worked as a freelance writer, writing teacher, and an assistant to a literary agent in New York City. Since 2003, she and her husband have run Essex Farm in the Adirondacks, where they live with their young daughter. This is her first book.

More about the author →

From the Same Author

Good Husbandry

Kristin Kimball

When Kristin Kimball fell in love with a farmer and left behind her life in Manhattan to start a new farm with him in the Adirondacks, she had to learn a lot about farming – and fast. But, it turns out that starting a farm is not as challenging as sustaining it. Over the next five years, as two children are born and more land is acquired, the farm has its ups and downs, but then the downs keep on coming. Kristin’s husband gets injured, the weather turns against them, the financial pressures mount. Suddenly, Kristin is facing not only the daily juggle of planting and milking and putting dinner on the table, but bigger questions about the life she has chosen. Is she still a farmer or is she now a farmer’s wife? What does the farm need in order to survive? What does a family need in order to thrive?

Beautifully written and refreshingly honest, Good Husbandry is about farmers and food, friends and neighbours, love and marriage, birth and death, and about how to grow and harvest the good things in life.