Of Birds and Praise
It's the rare book that both enchants you and educates you, but the latest book from the the GCC circuit does just that. In Gayle Brandeis's The Book of Dead Birds, the story is frought and rich: a young woman, Ava, turns 20, leaves home and comes to terms with a past unlike anyone elses's...Helen, her mother, as a young girl in Korea, 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--Ava--her new husband quickly abandoned her, and she was left to fend for herself and her daughter in a foreign country.
The story is gripping and beautiful, and a few writers who you might have heard of sing its praises:
Lyrical, imaginative, beautifully crafted, and deeply intelligent. Before anything else, its characters take you by the heart.
The Book of Dead Birds has an edgy beauty that enhances perfectly the seriousness of its contents.
The Book of Dead Birds won Barbara Kingsolver's Bellwether Prize for Fiction. Kingsolver created the award to advocate serious literary fiction that addresses issues of social justice, and the impact of culture and politics on human relationships. Toni Morrison and Maxine Hong Kingston were the judges who, in addition to Kingsolver, selected The Book of Dead Birds.