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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »

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1 Burnside Literature- A to Z

This title in other editions

The Book of Dead Birds

by

The Book of Dead Birds Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Winner of Barbara Kingsolver's Bellwether Prize, an award in support of a literature of social responsibility, The Book of Dead Birds is an intimate portrait of a young woman at a defining moment in her life, who stands at the intersection of two cultures and races.

Ava Sing Lo has been accidentally killing her mother's birds since she was a little girl. Now, having just finished her graduate work, Ava leaves her native San Diego for the Salton Sea, where she volunteers to help environmental activists save thousands of birds poisoned by agricultural run-off.

Helen, Ava's mother, has been haunted by her past for decades. As a young girl in Korea, Helen was drawn into prostitution on a segregated American army base. Several brutal years passed before a young white American soldier married her and brought her to California. When she gave birth to a black baby, her new husband quickly abandoned her, and she was left to fend for herself and her daughter in a foreign country.

With great beauty and lyricism, The Book of Dead Birds captures a young woman's struggle to come to terms with her mother's terrible past while she searches for her own place in the world. This moving mother-daughter story of migration, survival, and reconciliation resonates across cultures and through generations.

Review:

"The Book of Dead Birds is a story of healing — a skillful, textured weaving of dark and light." Donna M. Gershten, author of Kissing the Virgin's Mouth

Review:

"It has an edgy beauty that enhances perfectly the seriousness of its contents." Toni Morrison

Review:

"An emotional story forged in crystalline prose....Brandeis channels Ava with the precision of a poet, creating an elegant tale...in which beauty is rendered from brutal sources." Bust Magazine

Review:

"Lyrical, imaginative, beautifully crafted, and deeply intelligent. Before anything else, its characters take you by the heart." Barbara Kingsolver

Review:

"A moving and perceptive first novel." O Magazine

Review:

"Intricate and elegant...a novel that illustrates a compelling search for meaning that is ultimately familiar." Denver Post

Review:

"A wrenching tale." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Although Brandeis's writing is at times heavyhanded, the book is poignant and well researched, weaving corporate malfeasance, prostitution, racism, and sexual dysfunction into Ava's coming-of-age story." Library Journal

Review:

"[T]he plight of the mother and daughter is...heartbreaking....[A] wrenching tale." Kirkus Reviews

Synopsis:

Ava Sing Lo has been accidentally killing her mother's birds since she was a little girl. Now in her twenties, Ava leaves her native San Diego for the Salton Sea, where she volunteers to help environmental activists save thousands of birds poisoned by agricultural runoff.

Helen, her mother, has been haunted by her past for decades. As a young girl in Korea, Helen was drawn into prostitution on a segregated American army base. Several brutal years passed before a young white American soldier married her and brought her to California. When she gave birth to a black baby, her new husband quickly abandoned her, and she was left to fend for herself and her daughter in a foreign country.

With great beauty and lyricism, The Book of Dead Birdscaptures a young woman's struggle to come to terms with her mother's terrible past while she searches for her own place in the world.

About the Author

Gayle Brandeis is the author of The Book of Dead Birds, the winner of Barbara Kingsolver's Bellwether Prize, an award in support of a literature of social change. Reviewers have highly praised this, her first novel, and Toni Morrison said: "It has an edgy beauty that enhances perfectly the seriousness of its contents." She is also the author. Fruitflesh: Seeds of Inspiration for Women Who Write.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780060528041
Author:
Brandeis, Gayle
Publisher:
Harper Perennial
Author:
Brandeis,
Author:
Gayle
Subject:
General
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Mothers and daughters
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Publication Date:
20040431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8.00x5.34x.64 in. .43 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture

The Book of Dead Birds Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.50 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Harper Perennial - English 9780060528041 Reviews:
"Review" by , "The Book of Dead Birds is a story of healing — a skillful, textured weaving of dark and light."
"Review" by , "It has an edgy beauty that enhances perfectly the seriousness of its contents."
"Review" by , "An emotional story forged in crystalline prose....Brandeis channels Ava with the precision of a poet, creating an elegant tale...in which beauty is rendered from brutal sources."
"Review" by , "Lyrical, imaginative, beautifully crafted, and deeply intelligent. Before anything else, its characters take you by the heart."
"Review" by , "A moving and perceptive first novel."
"Review" by , "Intricate and elegant...a novel that illustrates a compelling search for meaning that is ultimately familiar."
"Review" by , "A wrenching tale."
"Review" by , "Although Brandeis's writing is at times heavyhanded, the book is poignant and well researched, weaving corporate malfeasance, prostitution, racism, and sexual dysfunction into Ava's coming-of-age story."
"Review" by , "[T]he plight of the mother and daughter is...heartbreaking....[A] wrenching tale."
"Synopsis" by , Ava Sing Lo has been accidentally killing her mother's birds since she was a little girl. Now in her twenties, Ava leaves her native San Diego for the Salton Sea, where she volunteers to help environmental activists save thousands of birds poisoned by agricultural runoff.

Helen, her mother, has been haunted by her past for decades. As a young girl in Korea, Helen was drawn into prostitution on a segregated American army base. Several brutal years passed before a young white American soldier married her and brought her to California. When she gave birth to a black baby, her new husband quickly abandoned her, and she was left to fend for herself and her daughter in a foreign country.

With great beauty and lyricism, The Book of Dead Birdscaptures a young woman's struggle to come to terms with her mother's terrible past while she searches for her own place in the world.

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