Reviews

Touched By All Creatures

mainstream narrative nonfiction

New Horizon Press, April 1999


"Eminently readable. Will be welcomed by everyone who enjoyed James Herriot's efforts. This one will be very popular."
Booklist


"Balliet is a worthy successor to James Herriot. Touched By All Creatures is a book that readers will return to again and again."
Midwest Book Review


"The wonder of animals and the earthy, humane details of doctoring them shines through."
Publishers Weekly


"Vivid. Expect surprises and earthy epiphanies."
Sunday Morning Call


"Genuine...quickly draws readers in."
School Library Journal


"Every bit as eccentric, loveable and heart-tugging as [James Herriot's] Yorkshire chronicles."
Sunday Tribune Review


"Insightful...Balliet is as careful an observer of human manners as those of animals."
Bookends


Lowell: The True Story of an Existential Pig

mainstream narrative nonfiction

New Horizon Press, June 2000


"Like James Herriot's books, Balliet's Lowell reads more like a riveting novel than a "pigography", as the author relates captivating, heart-warming and occasionally hilarious tales... After you read this engaging book, you'll never want to eat another pork chop."
Sunday Star Ledger


"A lot of animal and pet books cross my desk, but this is one of the few I can heartily recommend. It's touching, funny and quite enlightening."
San Jose Mercury News


"...another delectable trough's worth of vets-at-home and vets-on-the-road anecdotes [with] a wide range of philosophical and psychological speculation."
Publisher's Weekly


"...a lively, perceptive saga"
The Morning Call


"Lowell, a music-lover with a special fondness for Gloria Estefan, is the star of Balliet's second book, Lowell"
Central PA Magazine


"Pick up this one before your first summer barbeque. You just might decide to stop by the health store for a meatless alternative."
Mode Magazine


"Lowell is a real-life Babe, and you'll learn all about living with a pet pig."
Boston Sunday Herald


Lions & Tigers & Mares... Oh, My!

creative nonfiction for young adult and adult readers

White glove Press, 2015


This is the first book that I have read by Gay Balliet-Perkins--but it absolutely will not be the last!


It was one of those books that you wish would go on forever, with new stories every day. She paints such vivid pictures of the four-footed and two-footed characters that you instantly feel that you know them. In spite of the fact that I was reading in public places, I laughed out loud many times. She runs you through the gamut of emotions as she takes you from birth to death through the lives of her characters.


What a wonderful collage of stories from the world of a contemporary American mixed animal (VERY mixed) Veterinary practitioner and his family. I really had to fight the urge to bring home a pot bellied pig after finishing this lovely book.
By Meg Alonso


Balliet is the wife of a veterinarian who treats large and exotic animals, and she often accompanies him on his rounds as assistant and "gofer." The pair lives in eastern Pennsylvania, home of Pennsylvania Dutch farmers, exotic game parks, horse breeders, traveling circuses, and all of the animals that share their lives. As in previous books (Touched by All Creatures, 1999), the author mines the daily life of an animal doctor for stories that are amusing, sorrowful, touching, or thought provoking. Whether writing about trying not to laugh as a sheep farmer's pants migrate south while he catches lambs; the anger she and her husband felt when a novice breeder didn't care about a sick foal; a donkey that survived the total loss of his hoof; or being sprayed with cat urine, monkey feces, and all manner of disgusting fluids, Balliet ties her stories together with the thesis that animals and humans are all part of a cosmic family. Balliet's humorous reminiscences and graceful writing should find many readers.
Booklist - Nancy Bent
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


"I have read every one of Gay Balliet-Perkins's books. "Lowell - The true story of an existential Pig", "Lions and Tigers and Mares Oh My" and "Touched by All Creatures". What an author! She can make you laugh and cry. You will see animals in a whole new way. I actually cheered when her pig Lowell came to her defense when she was in physical danger. Want to see the gleam in a tiger's eye or feel his hot breath on your face? Read her books. Keep writing Gay and I'll keep reading."
By Kenny Muth



There's a Bear in the Basement

creative nonfiction for young adult and adult readers

White glove Press, 2015


From the author of Touched By All Creatures: Doctoring Animals in the Pennsylvania Dutch Country and Lowell: The True Story of an Existential Pig and Lions & Tigers & Mares-Oh, My! comes another riotous book of veterinary adventures.


There's a Bear in the Basement serves the reader a cocktail of humor, inspiration, and literary engagement. Set in contemporary America's colorful Pennsylvania Dutch country, the Balliets' is a timeless world seemingly untouched by modern life. Filled with lush scenery, vividly-drawn Dutch folk and, of course, the strange and tender animals of a local zoo and numerous farms, Balliet-Perkins dramatically recounts medical emergencies and narrowly averted disasters.


On the lighter side, she describes adventures with a spiteful, spitting llama named Sambuca; revelry at the annual pot-bellied pig festival, Pig Stock; and veterinary medicine showcasing raccoons, deer, turkeys, and many other unusual, sometimes eccentric, animals.


Readers will be charmed by Henry, the rooster, so protective of his goat herd; Minchi Ho, a pot-bellied pig who charms from his owners a cozy nest in the barn alongside the family's show horses; Clampit and See-No-Evil, two of a family of baby raccoons with their own tree-stump "palace"; Thunder, a horse who battles all odds and wins; Struttin' Feather and his mate, Hot Wings, two wild turkeys with an attraction for human company, and many other wonderful and odd animal characters.


From the first page, Balliet-Perkins unites the series of narrative vignettes of day-to-day vet life with the carefree spontaneity, fun, honesty, and humor experienced through life alongside animals.


Henry Miller and Surrealist Metaphor: "Riding the Ovarian Trolley"

Academic book

Peter Lang Publishing Co., NYC 1996


"Gay Balliet's enlightening study of surrealism in American fiction is original in approach, imaginative in its uses of specific illustrations, and dynamic in its fresh and often startling cross-references."
James R. Frakes, E.W. Fairchild Professor of American Studies, Lehigh University


"What is so useful about Gay Balliet's book is her deft use of interdisciplinary sources, especially fine arts and literature, to weave a valuable study of surrealism. Dr. Balliet's study also brings in Miller's American contemporaries and his literary descendants, clarifying his relationship to both and his position in American literature."
Dr. Elizabeth Fifer, Professor of English, Lehigh University