Author Reading and Book Signing for The Land of Milk and Uncle Honey
Saturday, August 29 1:00pm
Oak Park Library – Maze Branch, 845 Gunderson Ave., Oak Park, IL 60304
Nationally syndicated agricultural columnist Alan Guebert and his daughter Mary Grace Foxwell will read from their recently released book The Land of Milk and Uncle Honey on Saturday, August 29 at 1pm at the Oak Park Library Maze Branch. The event is co-sponsored by Oak Park Library and Sugar Beet Food Co-op.
Published by the University of Illinois Press, the book is a collection of personal memories written over the past two decades as part of Guebert’s Farm and Food File column, which runs weekly in 70 newspapers throughout the U.S. and Canada. Each column recalls and reflects on the people, food, and values he learned on the 720-acre, 100-cow “southern Illinois dairy farm of my youth” in the 1960s.
The Land of Milk and Uncle Honey was recently included on Bon Appetit Magazine's 20 Food Books to Read This Summer, Los Angeles Magazine's Top 10 Summer Books for Foodies, and Food Tank's Summer Reading List.
“Uncle Honey,” explains Guebert, “was my great uncle who retired from his in-town job to ‘help’ my father on our farm. Several of the stories in the book center on how this gentle, quiet man—truly, a ‘honey’ of a guy—turned into a steel-bending, throttle-breaking terror as soon as he put any tractor into gear, without the use of the clutch, of course.”
Guebert’s co-author and daughter, Mary Grace Foxwell, conceptualized, compiled, and edited the book. She also wrote the epilogue which details her own memories of her father and lessons gleaned from her grandparents’ farm.
“While the majority of the book’s characters passed away long before I was born,” notes Foxwell, “I have often smiled and laughed hearing their stories, much like my father’s longtime readers. I wanted to honor those people and those values—hard work, honesty, and humility—for generations to come.”
Advance reviews describe the book as authentic, humorous, and astute. Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation, notes "Alan Guebert is one of America's finest writers on the workings and the politics of our food system. This book eloquently describes a rural way of life that's been lost. But the values of that world—family, community, social justice, a respect for the land—are timeless."
Foxwell and Guebert will read selections from The Land of Milk and Uncle Honey and answer questions. Copies will be available for purchase and signing at the event.
The book contains 24 black-and-white photographs from Guebert’s youth on Indian Farm and is available for online purchase through various outlets including University of Illinois Press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, as well as at bookstore nationwide, and as an e-book. Additional information, including future events and the authors’ contact information, may be accessed atwww.farmandfoodfile.com.