The latest author on tour with the Girlfriends Cyber Circuit is Gayle Brandeis , author of The Book of Dead Birds , which received the Bellwether Prize for Fiction. Read the novel’s backstory here.
First line: I remember the first time I flew.
About the 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.
About the prize: The Bellwether Prize for Fiction was created by Barbara Kingsolver to advocate serious literary fiction that addresses issues of social justice, and the impact of culture and politics on human relationships. Brandeis’s debut novel was selected by Toni Morrison, Maxine Hong Kingston, and Kingsolver.
Lyrical, imaginative, beautifully crafted, and deeply intelligent. Before anything else, its characters take you by the heart. –Barbara Kingsolver
The Book of Dead Birds has an edgy beauty that enhances perfectly the seriousness of its contents.–Toni Morrison
A uniquely inventive novelâ€¦How splendidly the author has balanced art with environmental obligationâ€¦It is exciting in literary circles when a first-time novelist does as well as Brandeis does with The Book of Dead Birds.–Rocky Mountain News