My new book, The Bucolic Plague: How Two Manhattanites Became Gentlemen Farmers, is now out. So far it’s getting good reviews. Waiting for them is always a little nerve-wracking. (The New York Times says: “…My Amtrak seat mate in the Quiet Car, a complete stranger, insisted that I read out loud the scene — a goat in labor — that was making me laugh so hard I was crying…Kilmer-Purcell’s book is manically funny, sweetly open and trusting, and slick and snarky. Must be something in the soil.”)
Brent and I are both very excited about it, and also a little anxious. While I may have revealed a lot about myself in my first memoir, I Am Not Myself These Days, the embarrassing events in that first book happened a full decade before the world read them. In contrast, The Bucolic Plague is the story of how Brent and I purchased the Beekman, started Beekman 1802, and almost lost everything – including each other – as we began straddling urban and rural life. It’s a relatively recent story, and one that, frankly, is still unfolding. You see it here daily.
But even though we share a lot of our “behind the scenes” here at Beekman 1802, there are some things that deserve a little more introspection than I can get across in a simple blog entry. Believe it or not, Brent and I are kinda private about our private lives. I promised I’d never write another memoir until I’d learned something new and important. And, I think my experience buying the Beekman and starting a business with my partner in the midst of a global financial meltdown taught me quite a few things – some of which are not so flattering. But they could be interesting and entertaining to people who might be thinking about taking a similar plunge. Or just like to rubberneck.
As it says on our homepage, this is all one big “shared experiment.” We have no idea if it will be successful, and there’s no fallback plan. Like most farmers, we’re always just a few weeks away from losing it all. The Bucolic Plague is my honest look at middle age, Brent’s and my relationship, and putting all of our life’s investment in the hands (or hooves) of a herd of goats.
Crazy? Maybe. But then again, if you can’t have faith in goats, I feel sorry for you.
To get your copy autographed by both Brent and myself, please mail it along with a Self Addressed Stamped Return Envelope to The Beekman 1802 Mercantile, 210 Main Street, Sharon Springs, NY 13459.
Here’s what a few people are already saying about The Bucolic Plague:
“I adore the Beekman boys’ story. Their unlikely story of love, the land, and a herd of goats is hilariously honest. If these two can go from Manhattan to a goat farm in upstate New York, then I can’t help feeling there is hope for us all.” – Alice Waters
“I gobbled up this book like – well, like goat cheese on a cracker. Kilmer-Purcell’s genius lies in his ability to blindside the reader with heart-wrenching truths in the midst of the most outlandish scenarios. He makes you laugh until you care.” – Armistead Maupin
“A delicious book about two city boys who buy a farm, fall in love with a herd of goats and attempt to revive the American dream. But then life, two mortgages and an economic crisis interfere. Every twist and turn, every triumph and set back had me on the edge of my seat. Never has mucking out a stall been more scintillating!” – Alison Smith