The Book of Dead Birds: A Novel

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9780060528041: The Book of Dead Birds: A Novel

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 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.

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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. 

From Booklist:

Ava Sing Lo is the daughter of Helen, a Korean woman forced into prostitution on a segregated American army base, and one of the clients she serviced. All of her life, Ava has sensed that her mother, often depressed and withdrawn, is ashamed of her past and her daughter's dark skin. Helen is fascinated with birds, which seem to encompass for her some vital message about fragility and survival, but Ava has been accidentally killing her mother's pets since she was a little girl. Now Ava wants to head to the Salton Sea, the site of the worst bird die-off in American history, where she also hopes to repair her fragile relationship with her mother. This first novel is the winner of Barbara Kingsolver's Bellwether Prize for a work of socially and politically engaged fiction; however, Brandeis' novel suffers, at times, from overly fraught symbolism and an awkwardly tacked-on subplot. The author is at her best in her lyrical descriptions of nature and in the finely detailed portrait of the emotional tug-of-war between mother and child. Joanne Wilkinson
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Book Description HARPER PERENNIAL, United States, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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 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. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780060528041

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Book Description HARPER PERENNIAL, United States, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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 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. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780060528041

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