A Day No Pigs Would Die
Cover to paperback edition
|Author||Robert Newton Peck|
|Publisher||Alfred A. Knopf|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
A Day No Pigs Would Die is a 1972 coming-of-age, autobiographical novel by Robert Newton Peck about a 13-year-old boy named Robert. It is Peck's first novel; the sequel, A Part of the Sky, was published in 1994.
The story is set in 1920s rural Vermont, in the fictional town of Learning. It focuses on a teenage boy, Robert, developing a strong bond with his father – a butcher who slaughters hogs – and the boy's pet pig named Pinky. The author uses his own childhood as a Shaker to reveal the problems Robert faces growing into manhood. For example, he helps his neighbor's cow have two baby bulls and saves one's life, while risking his. As reward his neighbor gives him his prized pet pig. As the pig grows to maturity it turns out to be sterile, though otherwise ideal. Eventually the family faces such economic hardship that Pinky is slaughtered. The slaughter and butchering of Pinky is extremely graphic, but accurate. The boy assists his father in this act, holding his beloved pet down while his father kills and makes sausage out of it.
The book takes place roughly during the Calvin Coolidge presidency. The novel is loosely based on Peck's own life, though there is much dispute about the accuracy of known information about Peck's childhood.
This book has often been challenged – that is, people have requested its removal from libraries – in part because of sexually explicit and violent content, including the mating of a boar and a sow that has been compared to a rape scene. It was 16th on the American Library Association's list of books most often challenged in the 1990s. Nonetheless it made top 100 most catalogued list of OCLC.
- Jonathon Green and Nicholas J. Karolides. "Day No Pigs Would Die, A (1972)", Encyclopedia of Censorship. Infobase Publishing, 2009, p. 141.
- "100 most frequently challenged books: 1990–1999". American Library Association. Retrieved 2010-01-12.
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