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book cover of The Book of Dead Birds

The Book of Dead Birds

A novel by

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.

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Praise for this book

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

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Used availability for Gayle Brandeis's The Book of Dead Birds

Hardback Editions

April 2003 : USA Hardback

Title: The Book of Dead Birds: A Novel
Author(s): Gayle Brandeis
ISBN: 0-06-052803-6 / 978-0-06-052803-4 (USA edition)
Publisher: Harper
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

April 2004 : USA Paperback

Title: The Book of Dead Birds: A Novel
Author(s): Gayle Brandeis
ISBN: 0-06-052804-4 / 978-0-06-052804-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

October 2009 : USA, Canada Kindle edition

Title: The Book of Dead Birds: A Novel
Author(s): Gayle Brandeis
Publisher: HarperCollins e-books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA