James Rebanks wandered into the literary landscape in 2015 with the release of his memoir, “The Shepherd’s Life: Modern Dispatches from an Ancient Landscape.” A sheep farmer from Matterdale, England, Rebanks’ prose about his simple yet fulfilling lifestyle touched many people. His book received rave reviews and landed on The New York Times’ best-seller list.
Practicing a simple life also is a mantra Kentucky author, poet and farmer Wendell Berry lives by, and on Wednesday, Berry will get a chance to interview Rebanks at a free event held at the Louisville Free Public Library. Presented in partnership with Carmichael’s Bookstore, the evening should be a lively one, as two powerful writers discuss camaraderie, tradition and the poetry of rural life.
In a 2015 review of “The Shepherd’s Life,” New York Times reviewer Michiko Kakutani wrote:
“James Rebanks’s captivating new book about his family’s small sheep farm in England is also a book about continuity and roots and a sense of belonging in an age that’s increasingly about mobility and self-invention. It’s a book about a way of life essentially unchanged for centuries in an era that’s all about change and flux.”
Just last month, Rebanks released a follow-up to “The Shepherd’s Life” with “The Shepherd’s View: Modern Photographs from an Ancient Landscape,” featuring more than 80 vivid photographs of his daily life throughout all four seasons. From herding sheep to pastoral baking competitions, all the characters in his life are depicted, and next to each photo is the author’s captivating prose.
Berry is the author of more than 40 books of poetry, fiction and essays. He often writes about his Henry County farm, where he’s lived for more than 40 years.
“A Conversation with James Rebanks and Wendell Berry” will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 9, at the Louisville Free Public Library, 301 York St. Tickets are free, but an RSVP online is needed.