The human history of depicting birds dates to as many as 40,000 years ago, when Paleolithic artists took to cave walls to capture winged and other beasts. But the art form has reached its peak in the last four hundred years. In The Art of the Bird, devout birder and ornithologist Roger J. Lederer celebrates this heyday of avian illustration in forty artists’ profiles, beginning with the work of Flemish painter Frans Snyders in the early 1600s and continuing through to contemporary artists like Elizabeth Butterworth, famed for her portraits of macaws. Stretching its wings across time, taxa, geography, and artistic style—from the celebrated realism of American conservation icon John James Audubon, to Elizabeth Gould’s nineteenth-century renderings of museum specimens from the Himalayas, to Swedish artist and ornithologist Lars Jonsson’s ethereal watercolors—this book is feathered with art and artists as diverse and beautiful as their subjects. A soaring exploration of our fascination with the avian form, The Art of the Bird is a testament to the ways in which the intense observation inherent in both art and science reveals the mysteries of the natural world.
A Bird in the House: Stories
Margaret Laurence University of Chicago Press, 1993 Library of Congress PR9199.3.L33B57 1993 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
A Bird in the House is a series of eight interconnected short stories narrated by Vanessa MacLeod as she matures from a child at age ten into a young woman at age twenty. Wise for her years, Vanessa reveals much about the adult world in which she lives.
"Vanessa rebels against the dominance of age; she watches [her grandfather] imitate her aunt Edna; and her rage at times is such that she would gladly kick him. It takes great skill to keep this story within the expanding horizon of this young girl and yet make it so revealing of the adult world."—Atlantic
"A Bird in the House achieves the breadth of scope which we usually associate with the novel (and thereby is as psychologically valid as a good novel), and at the same time uses the techniques of the short story form to reveal the different aspects of the young Vanessa." —Kent Thompson, The Fiddlehead
"I am haunted by the women in Laurence's novels as if they really were alive—and not as women I've known, but as women I've been."—Joan Larkin, Ms. Magazine
"Not since . . . To Kill a Mockingbird has there been a novel like this. It should not be missed by anyone who has a child or was a child."—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
One of Canada's most accomplished writers, Margaret Laurence (1926-87) was the recipient of many awards including Canada's prestigious Governor General's Literary Award on two separate occasions, once for The Diviners.
Saxophone virtuoso Charlie "Bird" Parker began playing professionally in his early teens, became a heroin addict at 16, changed the course of music, and then died when only 34 years old. His friend Robert Reisner observed, "Parker, in the brief span of his life, crowded more living into it than any other human being." Like Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, and John Coltrane, he was a transitional composer and improviser who ushered in a new era of jazz by pioneering bebop and influenced subsequent generations of musicians.
Meticulously researched and written, Bird: The Life and Music of Charlie Parker tells the story of his life, music, and career. This new biography artfully weaves together firsthand accounts from those who knew him with new information about his life and career to create a compelling narrative portrait of a tragic genius.
While other books about Parker have focused primarily on his music and recordings, this portrait reveals the troubled man behind the music, illustrating how his addictions and struggles with mental health affected his life and career. He was alternatively generous and miserly; a loving husband and father at home but an incorrigible philanderer on the road; and a chronic addict who lectured younger musicians about the dangers of drugs. Above all he was a musician, who overcame humiliation, disappointment, and a life-threatening car wreck to take wing as Bird, a brilliant improviser and composer.
With in-depth research into previously overlooked sources and illustrated with several never-before-seen images, Bird: The Life and Music of Charlie Parker corrects much of the misinformation and myth about one of the most influential musicians of the twentieth century.
Laura Wilmote is a television journalist living in Paris. Her life couldn’t be better—a stimulating job, a loving boyfriend, interesting friends—until her phone rings in the middle of one night. It is C., an old school friend whom Laura recently helped find a job at the same television station: “My phone rang. I knew right away it was you.”
Thus begins the story of C.’s unrelenting, obsessive, incurable love/hatred of Laura. She is convinced that Laura shares her love, but cannot—or will not—admit it. C. begins to dress as Laura, to make her friends and family her own, and even succeeds in working alongside Laura on the unique program that is Laura’s signature achievement. The obsession escalates, yet is artfully hidden. It is Laura who is perceived as the aggressor at work, Laura who appears unwell, Laura who is losing it. Even Laura’s adoring boyfriend begins to question her. Laura seeks the counsel of a psychiatrist who diagnoses C. with De Clérambault syndrome—she is convinced that Laura is in love with her. And worse, the syndrome can only end in one of two ways: the death of the patient, or that of the object of the obsession.
A Cage in Search of a Bird is the gripping story of two women caught in the vise of a terrible delusion. Florence Noiville brilliantly narrates this story of obsession and one woman’s attempts to escape the irrational love of another—an inescapable, never-ending love, a love that can only end badly.
A Times Higher Education Book of the Week
One of our foremost commentators on poetry examines the work of a broad range of nineteenth- and twentieth-century English, Irish, and American poets. The Ocean, the Bird, and the Scholar gathers two decades’ worth of Helen Vendler’s essays, book reviews, and occasional prose—including the 2004 Jefferson Lecture—in a single volume.
“It’s one of [Vendler’s] finest books, an impressive summation of a long, distinguished career in which she revisits many of the poets she has venerated over a lifetime and written about previously. Reading it, one can feel her happiness in doing what she loves best. There is scarcely a page in the book where there isn’t a fresh insight about a poet or poetry.”
—Charles Simic, New York Review of Books
“Vendler has done perhaps more than any other living critic to shape—I might almost say ‘create’—our understanding of poetry in English.”
—Joel Brouwer, New York Times Book Review
“Poems are artifacts and [Vendler] shows us, often thrillingly, how those poems she considers the best specimens are made…A reader feels that she has thoroughly absorbed her subjects and conveys her understanding with candor, clarity, wit.”
—John Greening, Times Literary Supplement
When William Carlos Williams said, “It’s all in / the sound,” when T. S. Eliot hailed the invigorating force of the “auditory imagination,” or when Marianne Moore applauded “the clatter and true sound” of Williams’s verse, each poet invoked the dimension that bound them together. In Quick, Said the Bird, Richard Swigg makes the case for acoustics as the basis of the linkages, kinships, and inter-illuminations of a major twentieth-century literary relationship. Outsiders in their home terrain who nevertheless continued to reach back to their own American vocal identities, Williams, Eliot, and Moore embody a unique lineage that can be traced from their first significant works (1909–1918) to the 1960s.
In reconstructing the auditory dimension in the work of the three poets, Quick, Said the Bird does not neglect the visual text. Whether in the form of Moore’s quirky patternings, Eliot’s expandable verse-frames, or Williams’s springy stanzas, the printed shape on the page is here brought together with the spoken word in vital interplay: the eye-read text cut against by sequential utterance in a restoration of the poetry’s full effect. By seeing and hearing the verse at the same moment—together with reading side-by-side discussions of the quarrels, friendships, mutual borrowings, and shared energies of Williams, Eliot, and Moore—the reader gains a remarkable new understanding of their individual achievements.By sound and sight, Quick, Said the Bird takes the reader straight into the physical textures of the finest works by three outstanding figures of twentieth-century American poetry.
What Begins with Bird, by Noy Holland, is both an investigation of family relationships and a sophisticated study of language and rhythm. Holland creates an exhilarating tension between the satisfactions of meaning and the attenuated beauty of lyric, making her fiction felt as deeply as it is understood. An unstable sister whose misconceived pregnancy replays the endless nightmare of childhood siblings and a wrecked marriage occasioning the misery of a horse: these are the frozen events around which Holland's words congeal. The poetry of her images, powerful but immediately absorbed, can bring consciousness to a standstill: "By then I've reached her: Sister spluttering, spitting out the plug of snow. Her mouth is bleeding. Her face is the grotesque of a face, a soul in flames, some rung of hell, and she is sobbing, spit puddling under her tongue." The Faulknerian echoes of Holland's prose invoke a dreamscape, a panorama enclosing barns and men and guns and Mother, as she trudges the cold hills in her nightgown. This writing is exquisite, a gorgeousness as unforgettable as a stabbing pain or the after-image of a howl in the pitch of night.