About The Book
In the form of a rediscovered memoir “edited” by Russell Potter, PYG: The Memoirs of Toby, the Learned Pig tells the story of Toby, a truly exceptional pig who lived in the late eighteenth century. After winning the blue ribbon at the Salford Livestock Fair, he isdaringly rescued from the butcher’s knife by Sam, his guardian and steadfast companion. The fugitive pair find themselves at thedoor of Mr. Silas Barnett, impresario of a traveling circus. Alongside a menagerie that includesdancing turkeys and violin-playing cats, Toby stars in the centerpiece act, wowing audiences across Britain with his abilities to count, spell, and even read the minds of ladies—”but only with their permission,” of course.
“The remarkable sapient pig” quickly sparks a national sensation, packing sold-out houses at every stop on the tour. But as Toby confronts brutes,detractors, imposters, andmore, he learns that celebrity comes at a cost. A serendipitous connection eventually spares him from the entertainer’s life andlands him plum university spots atOxfordandEdinburgh. He meets many of the era’s luminaries—Samuel Johnson, Robert Burns, andWilliam Blake, among others—andeventually puts his education to use recounting his illustrious exploits.
PYG is a heartwarming debut that blends the sophistication and satire of Jonathan Swift with the charm and character of a Pixar film. Quirky, beguiling, and endlessly entertaining, PYG is a one-of-a-kind treasure.
About The Author
RUSSELL POTTER is a professor of English atRhode IslandCollege. He has published essays and poetry and has also written extensively about theArctic. PYG is his first novel.