Picks and Pans Review: Pig Earth

updated 02/01/1982 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/01/1982 AT 01:00 AM EST

by John Berger

A novelist and art critic, Berger, 55, was born in London and now lives in a rural French community. This striking collection, published in Britain in 1979, is a combination of short stories and poetry, rich in the crude details of farm routine and characters whose lives are far from simple. (Marcel, the apple farmer who locks the tax inspector in his grain cellar in The Value of Money, is one.) Berger is an ideologue—anticapitalist, but pro-peasant, not Marxist. "The peasant," he writes in an after-word, "sees life as an interlude. This is confirmed by his daily familiarity with the cycle of birth, life and death." That familiarity informs an oddly touching book. (Pantheon paperback, $5.95)

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