Pigs Can't Swim: A Memoir

Pigs Can't Swim: A Memoir

by Helen Peppe

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An outrageous, hilarious, and touching memoir by the youngest of nine children in a hardscrabble, beyond-eccentric Maine family.

With everything happening on Helen Peppe's backwoods Maine farm, life was wild--and not just for the animals. Sibling rivalry, rock-bottom poverty, feral male chauvinism, sex in the hayloft: everything seemed--and was--out of control. In telling her wayward family tale, Peppe manages deadpan humor, an unerring eye for the absurd, and poignant compassion for her utterly overwhelmed parents. While her feisty resilience and candor will inevitably remind readers of Jeannette Walls or Mary Karr, Peppe's wry insight and moments of tenderness with family and animals are entirely her own. As Richard Hoffman, the author of Half the House: A Memoir puts it: "Pigs Can't Swim is an unruly, joyous troublemaker of a book." 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780306822735
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publication date: 02/04/2014
Series: A Merloyd Lawrence Book
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 272
File size: 584 KB

About the Author

Helen Peppe began writing stories, mostly about animals, on scraps of butcher paper when she was knee-high to a horse. (All of her furry characters lived happily ever after.) As a student, she wrote short stories and personal essays while working as a professional photographer specializing in horses and dogs. She lives near Portland, Maine, with her husband, Eric, her children, four dogs, four rescued rabbits, four guinea pigs, and two destructive kittens.

Table of Contents

Author's Note xi

1 "What Were You Thinking?" 1

2 Mac 7

3 Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire 14

4 Pigs Can't Swim 22

5 Pecking Order 36

6 Breakdown 49

7 The Killing House 58

8 The Tell-Tale Lamb 71

9 Where's Margaret? 79

10 Left and Leaving 91

11 The Youngest Child 98

12 The American Eagle 110

13 What the Chimpanzee Taught Me 129

14 Lookout 138

15 Bus Number Two 150

16 Dakota 160

17 Predators 172

18 Rocket Man 193

19 Caught 216

20 The Starting Line 232

21 When Pigs Fly 247

Acknowledgments 255

About the Author 257

A Reader's Guide to Helen Peppe's PIGS CAN'T SWIM 259

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Pigs Can't Swim: A Memoir 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When are these Peggys going to rise up? Welcome to PeggyClan, where we are raising a Peggy army. Please help us discuss battle plans as we take over all the vlans every!!! I am your leader, AndPegs. Which clan is first to be conquered?
brf1948 More than 1 year ago
I received this book from the author, Helen Peppe, in a Goodreads giveaway. Thank you Ms Peppe! I was really excited to read this book! Pigs Can't Swim is an interesting memoir. Helen was audacious, and very bright. She managed to shine in a family of nine children - and that is hard to do, even if you are the baby! Her method of co-existing with that crowd was interesting, and I loved her nick-names of her siblings. I also enjoyed her humanization of her mom - It is really easy to make mom the bad guy. Helen Peppe was able to portray all the angst and emotion of coming of age, and the confusion as well. This is a book I will share with the people I love, and keep in my library to re-read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Poignant well written depiction of growing up in a challenging situation. Ms. Peppee shares the antics and heartbreaks of her large complex family. I could identify with many of the story lines. Would highly recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago