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Oct 27, 2023

'love letter' to livestock snapped up by
Allen & Unwin UK

John Connell’s

Allen & Unwin UK has seized Twelve Sheep: Life Lessons from a Lambing Season, John Connell’s "love letter" to livestock.

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Clare Drysdale, group associate publisher of Atlantic Books, acquired world rights in all languages from Marianne Gunn O’Connor, and the book will be published in B-format hardback and e-book on 4th April 2024, with an audiobook sublicense to W F Howes.

The synopsis says: "For John Connell, the lambing season on his County Longford farm begins in the autumn. In the sheep shed, he surveys the dozen females in his care and contemplates the work ahead as the season slowly turns to winter, then spring. Like the flock that he shepherds, Twelve Sheep is both simple and profound, a meditation on the rituals of farming life and a primer on the lessons that nature can teach us.

"As spring returns and the sheep and their lambs are released into the fields, skipping with joy, John recalls the words of Henry David Thoreau, reminding us to ’live in each season as it passes’."

Connell is an author, film producer, investigative journalist and farmer. His memoir The Cow Book (Granta Books) was awarded Popular Non-Fiction Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards in 2018.

Connell said: "It’s a real dream come true after a number of years working on this book. As a farmer and a writer, I can’t wait to share my new work with the world."

Drysdale added: "John Connell’s The Cow Book was a sensation for Granta in 2018, winning awards and supergluing itself to the Irish Times top 10 for months. We feel fortunate to be working with John on his love letter to another cherished form of livestock. This is a book which will enlighten and inspire all who read it."

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