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Synopsis

A unique anthology of avian literature

From the myths of ancient Greece to the fables of Aesop, from Chaucer to contemporary poetry and fiction, birds are central to literature because they connect us intimately to the natural world. Whether we watch birds at our feeders, travel vast distances to identify rare species, or simply pause in a busy day to listen to the coo of a dove or the trill of a warbler, birds sustain us.

Birds in the Hand is a collection of contemporary fiction and poetry that explores the complex, often startling ways in which birds shed light upon our lives. In work from a diverse and celebrated group of contemporary authors such as Charles Baxter, T.C. Boyle, Jim Harrison, Flannery O'Connor, Pattiann Rogers, Seamus Heaney, Derek Walcott, Ethan Canin, and Jorie Graham, birds are sources of inspiration, confrontation, and revelation.

These stories and poems take us from New York and Hoboken to the Salton Sea and the wilds of Montana, from a hardware store to the westernmost Aleutian island, from a prison to marshes, forests, and seacoasts.

Field guides and natural history books cannot capture the essence of why birds thrill us. Birds in the Hand uses the vitality and nuance of fiction and poetry to get at the heart of our mysterious sense of birds and the way they can reflect the brightest and darkest aspects of our own natures.

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