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Dirty Chick

Dirty Chick: Adventures of an Unlikely Farmer

Antonia Murphy

The fact that vampire worms were reproducing by the tens of thousands in the belly of my goat should not have come as a surprise. By now I’d learned that country life is not a pastoral painting. Sure, at various times during the year you might see fluffy white lambs prancing in the tall grass, but those moments are rare. Real country life, it turns out, involves blood, shit and worms.

Sitting in traffic on your morning commute, with a day of staring at a screen and answering emails ahead of you, you catch yourself wondering: what if I threw it all in for a peaceful life in the country?

Antonia Murphy knows the feeling—and she did something about it. Swapping deadlines for feeding times, traffic jams for homemade cheese, Antonia transplanted her husband and children to a small farm in rural New Zealand.

But it turns out that collecting your own organic eggs isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In her hilarious account of rural life, Antonia exposes the dirty truth behind the agrarian dream: a world of turkey slaughter, maggots and menopausal hens. Not to mention that there’s family life to contend with, too: when her young son collapses on the school bus one day, she realises her troubles are just beginning.

It’s mad, bad and dangerous to grow your own vegetables—Dirty Chick will make you grateful that you can get yours from the supermarket, instead.


ABC Radio National Life Matters

Antonia Murphy
About the Author

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 Peterand their two children, Silas and Miranda. Dirty Chick: Adventures of an Unlikely Farmer is Antonia’s debut...

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Text publication date:
28 January 2015
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Praise for Antonia Murphy
andDirty Chick

‘Antonia Murphy is a writer of great charm and appeal. She’s kind of impossible to resist.’

‘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.’

‘Delightfully funny…Further adventures of the Unlikely Farmer will be eagerly anticipated. An excellent debut.’

‘There’s nothing quite like the pleasures of armchair artisanal farming, especially when your guide is a natural, in-your-face comic. The reader gets the fun of seeing how it’s done with having to ensure the mayhem of the actual experience.’

‘An amusing, affectionate account that paints an earthy picture of rural New Zealand life and characters.’

‘This bucolic romp is laugh-out-loud funny and at times, reach-for-the-tissues sad. Murphy has a talent for self-deprecation and blunt old honesty…An engaging and appealing writer.’

‘Easily one of the funniest books I have ever read…One of those books you will not want to end, it will have you chuckling at the craziness and whip-cracking witty observation…A must read’

Other editions ofDirty Chick
  • Dirty Chick
    ISBN: 9781925095418
    28 January 2015
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