Kate's Reviews > The Book of Dead Birds

The Book of Dead Birds by Gayle Brandeis
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Mar 06, 09

Read in March, 2009

Winner of the 2002 Bellwether Prize for fiction of social responsibility this is a lyrical, edgy little book, angular, imaginative and pure. A young San Diego woman volunteers with environmental activists rescuing birds poisoned by agricultural run-off at the Salton Sea in southern California. Ava Sing Lo's coming of age as well as her Korean mother's story of being forced into prostitution on a US military base in Korea during the 60s and her subsequent immigration to the US, unfold episodically in a well crafted work raising issues of environmental responsibility, immigration, race, ethnicity and personal development. Multilayered, resonant with imagery of birds, life and death this book is a fragile thing of poignant and thoughtprovoking beauty.
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