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Vagrants & Uncommon Visitors

4.67  ·  Rating details ·  9 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Vagrants & Uncommon Visitors traces the origins, impact, and significance of a bird collection turned museum on the shores of Iceland's Lake Mvatn. The lake supports a eutrophic ecology that, among other things, gives life to an all-but-complete collection of Icelandic birds. The birds, or maybe their collection, give purpose to Sigurgeir, a native son who has been sightin ...more
Published August 1st 2017 by Anomalous Press
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Emily Dunn
Dec 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Vagrants and Other Uncommon Visitors by A. Kendra Greene is the story of birds, family and museums, told through beautiful lyrical verse. The story is that of Sigurgeir who grew up near a lake watching the birds, collecting their eggs, and eventually colleting the birds themselves in the form of taxidermy. A. Kendra Green performed magic on the birds collected, giving each a unique depth and beauty that I never would have seen on my own and I found myself wanting to look things up, maybe even go ...more
Cassidy Peterson
Oct 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Vagrants & Uncommon Visitors was such an interesting read. It is a 30-page essay that somehow managed to make me interested in taxidermied birds in Iceland. That is quite a feat. The essay tells the story of Sigurgeir, a boy that grows up watching bird and collecting eggs from around his local lake until he starts collecting actual taxidermied birds. His collection grows and grows, and after he tragically dies, the collection is made into a museum: Sigurgeir’s Bird Museum. A. Kendra Greene does ...more
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A family in Iceland honors their sibling's memory by founding a museum containing his taxidermied bird collection.

This book was written by my sister-in-law as a series of long essays about museums of collections in Iceland. As usual, I am impressed with her thoughtfulness and quality of reading. What struck me in this reading was the dedication of the family to create a museum of their loved one's birds. Also, as I was reading I was envisioning what it would be like if I were there visiting that
Dec 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Engaging and thought-provoking. I was rather disappointed to get to the end (though I have two more of Ms. Greene’s works in my to-read stack). This is a beautifully written exposition of some aspects of the human condition - the urge to collect and the need to remember those gone too soon, among others. I love how the title relates to the book (hint: it’s more than just the description of how common a bird species might be - at least I saw it so). Wonderful piece of writing.
Jillian Adams
Sep 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
What a lovely essay. So glad picked it up. After visiting Iceland, felt the same feelings through her writing that I did when I was there.
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A. Kendra Greene vaccinated wild boars in Chile, taught English in Korea, and started her museum career adhering text to the wall one letter at a time. She has an MFA in Nonfiction from the University of Iowa, and is currently the Writer in Residence at the Dallas Museum of Art.

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