Author(s): Antonia Murphy
"One month into our stay, we'd managed to dispatch most of our charges. We executed the chickens. One of the cats disappeared, clearly disgusted with our urban ways. And Lucky the cow] was escaping almost daily. It seemed we didn't have much of a talent for farming. And we still had eleven months to go."
Antonia Murphy, you might say, is an unlikely farmer. Born and bred in San Francisco, she spent much of her life as a liberal urban clich , and her interactions with the animal kingdom rarely extended past dinner.
But then she became a mother. And when her eldest son was born with a rare, mysterious genetic condition, she and her husband, Peter, decided it was time to slow down and find a supportive community. So the Murphys moved to Purua, New Zealand--a rural area where most residents maintained private farms, complete with chickens, goats, and (this being New Zealand) sheep. The result was a comic disaster, and when one day their son had a medical crisis, it was also a little bit terrifying.
Dirty Chick chronicles Antonia's first year of life as an artisan farmer. Having bought into the myth that farming is a peaceful, fulfilling endeavor that allows one to commune with nature and live the way humans were meant to live, Antonia soon realized that the reality is far dirtier and way more disgusting than she ever imagined. Among the things she learned the hard way: Cows are prone to a number of serious bowel ailments, goat mating involves an astounding amount of urine, and roosters are complete and unredeemable assholes.
But for all its traumas, Antonia quickly embraced farm life, getting drunk on homemade wine (it doesn't cause hangovers ), making cheese (except for the cat hair, it's a tremendously satisfying hobby), and raising a baby lamb (which was addictively cute until it grew into a sheep). Along the way, she met locals as colorful as the New Zealand countryside, including a seasoned farmer who took a dim view of Antonia's novice attempts, a Maori man so handy he could survive a zombie apocalypse, and a woman proficient in sculpting alpaca heads made from their own wool.'
Part family drama, part cultural study, and part cautionary tale, Dirty Chick will leave you laughing, cringing, and rooting for an unconventional heroine.
* Author interviews in major glossy women's magazines such as Marie Claire and Women's Weekly NZ * Author to write articles for online media such as the Mamamia and New Daily * Author interviews across national radio programs such as ABC Radio National's Life Matters and New Zealand's Saturday Morning with Kim Hill * Author interviews on selected breakfast TV programs in New Zealand * Review coverage across major broadsheet and tabloid newspapers such as Sydney Morning Herald, Age, Herald Sun, Sunday Star Times and New Zealand Herald * Review coverage across magazines such as the Big Issue, Good Reading and Mindfood * Review coverage in specialist publications such as Slow Living magazine and Better Homes and Gardens * Events at writers festivals and foodie festivals in New Zealand * Advertisements in literary and current affairs publications such as the Monthly, and on the associated websites * Budget for bookseller catalogues * Advertisements in bookseller newsletters * Author video interview will be available for hosting on bookseller websites, Text's website, YouTube and the author website http://www.antoniamurphy.com * Major social media campaign including targeted Facebook advertising * Featured in Text newsletters and website
'Antonia Murphy is a writer of great charm and appeal. She's kind of impossible to resist.' -- Elizabeth Gilbert 'Murphy's book presents an unsentimental, at times unapologetically graphic, treatment of farm life. At the same time, it offers a comic yet thoroughly wise perspective on what it means to start over in a new country and live close to a natural world that is anything but romantic. Warm, funny and touching.' Kirkus
Antonia Murphy is an award-winning magazine journalist, author and adventurer. A San Francisco native, she took off on her sailboat in 2005 and never came back. Today, she lives and works in Whangarei, New Zealand, with her husband Peter and their two children, Silas and Miranda. Dirty Chick: Adventures of an Unlikely Farmer is Antonia's debut memoir.