By Chris Fink, Associate Professor of English
Emergency Press, N.Y., 2013
Welcome to Odette County, Wisconsin. Farm country. It’s the mythical home of characters like the rock-picking narrator of “Country Mile” and the mournful newspaper columnist Frank Fetters of “The Bergamot Weekly Almanac,” just two of the characters and stories of the collection of loosely connected tales in Chris Fink’s Farmer’s Almanac.
The debut work of fiction from the Beloit College English professor explores the rural Midwest and its inhabitants, taking a hard look at the small-town mores that govern his characters’ lives. The stories are grouped by themes—local color, bird watching, home and garden—an order borrowed from the Farmer’s Almanac and Old Farmer’s Almanac, mainstay reference books for rural life.
“Fink is clear-eyed and unsentimental, his voice free of disdain and charged with earthy eloquence,” says the writer Scott Russell Sanders, the 2014 Mackey chair.
Fink teaches literature, creative writing, and journalism at Beloit, and edits the Beloit Fiction Journal.