L'Altra Editorial, 2022
Goja—short for Glòria—is an elusive 35-yearold contemporary farmer, more in touch with beasts and nature than most of us in the 21st century. She’s no stranger to the brutal cycles of life and death: assisting at the birth of calves; slaughtering and plucking a chicken for dinner. Yet she lives surrounded by animals she’s given names to, is unable to destroy a bird’s nest, and witnesses a cow mourn. Over the course of 17 days one spring, we are privy to her thoughts on what makes us human, and what makes humans animals.
Animals have always helped Goja to understand that separation, loss, even death, are minor and necessary pains. That they’re not that important, that we are not that important. Her deep and abiding appreciation for animal nature—and her conviction that it is not incompatible with reason—are the pillars of her ruminations on the possibility and magnitude of motherhood. Told here in an omniscient third-person that lingers on details, the resulting prose is luminous, tranquil, and mesmerizing.
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