The World of Backyard Chickens with Tove Danovich In-Person / Online
In her new book Under the Henfluence, culture reporter Tove Danovich explores the lives of backyard chickens and the culture that surrounds them. As a part of the Mill Valley Public Library’s Earth Month series, this program explores the sustainable practice of chicken-keeping as well as the growing community of chicken-lovers around the country. Tove will appear in conversation with Kevin McElroy, co-author of Reinventing the Chicken Coop: 14 Original Designs with Step-by-Step Building Instructions.
From a hatchery in Iowa to a chicken show in Ohio to a rooster rescue in Minnesota, Danovich interviews the people breeding, training, healing, and, most importantly, adoring chickens. With more than 26 billion chickens living on industrial farms around the world, they’re easy to dismiss as just another dinner ingredient. Yet Danovich’s reporting reveals the hidden cleverness, quiet sweetness, and irresistible personalities of these birds, as well as the complex human-chicken relationship that has evolved over centuries. This glimpse into the lives of backyard chickens doesn’t just help us to understand chickens better—it also casts light back on ourselves and what we’ve ignored throughout the explosive growth of industrial agriculture. Woven with delightful and sometimes heartbreaking anecdotes from Danovich’s own henhouse, Under the Henfluence proves that chickens are so much more than what they bring to the table.
Tove Danovich’s work appears in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Ringer, Eater, NPR, Vox, and many others. Her articles have been selected for Year’s Best Sports Writing and Best Food Writing and been notable selections in Best American Food Writing and Best American Travel Writing. She has been interviewed about her work by 99% Invisible, Marketplace, KERA Think, Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street Radio, and others. She is the operator of the popular Instagram page, Best Little Henhouse in Oregon.
Our bookseller for this program is The Depot Bookstore.