“In Farmer’s Almanac, you can be assured all the men are not good-looking, all the women are not strong and all the children aren’t above average…Fink is not afraid to get the muck of country living into his fiction.”
– Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
In Chris Fink’s debut work of fiction, America’s rural core is cracked open to reveal moments of stark beauty and cruelty. Farmer’s Almanac—a new Midwestern Gothic—is an imaginary handbook for rural living, as timeless and essential as its namesake. But this is no American pastoral. Fink’s vision is more Orwell than Rockwell. Not since Winesburg, Ohio has a book so thoroughly plumbed the Midwestern character. A despairing farmer milks a dead cow, a baseball phenom chooses between the diamond and the dairy barn, and in the back of the school bus, a young girl fights back against her tormentors. Farmer’s Almanac reports the news from mythical Odette County, Wisconsin, where the milk prices keep falling, and the forecast is not good.
“Rock-picking, fight-picking, finger-licking, this is muscular writing from deep within the American heartland. Farmer’s Almanac is full of unexpected tenderness when you were expecting brutality, and ready with all kinds of ructions whenever you think there might be routines. Chris Fink is the authentic voice of American agricultural labour. Watch out, latte-slurping salonnières, he’s coming down the river and raising hell!”
– Giles Foden, author of The Last King of Scotland