Book Title: The Tender Birds by Carole Giangrande
Category: Adult Fiction (18 +), 305 pages | Genre: Literary Fiction
Publisher: Inanna Publications | Release date: October 2019
Tour dates: Nov 11 to Nov 22, 2019
Content Rating: PG-13 + M
(References to mature themes. The f-word and s**t are used about six times each. There are two non-explicit sex scenes (one is a reverie) and there is no physical violence.)
Matthew Reilly is a busy academic, a lonely priest haunted by secrets. Young Alison is the shy and devoted keeper of Daisy, a falcon which suffered an accident and can no longer fly. The three of them meet in a Boston parish, but Matt has forgotten a momentary but disturbing meetup with Alison, homeless eight years earlier in Toronto. Close to exhaustion, he's forced to reflect on what's become of his life, including the loss of a son that no one knew he'd fathered. Alison and Matt had a fateful encounter during her homeless period, but Matt doesn't connect that frail teenager with the healthy young woman she'd become. It's left to Alison to uncover Matt's past and for Matt to come to terms with it.
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“…prose that absolutely shimmers. What’s more, her recapitulation of what is was like to watch 9/11 unfold on television is engrossing in its verisimilitude. DeLillo, Amis and Foer could learn a thing or two from her.” — Quill and Quire
“This is a softly unsettling book, effective in showcasing the confusion that follows such a personal yet public crisis.” — Publishers’ Weekly
“…a deftly crafted meditation on what happens in the aftermath of tragedies both public and private, calling into question the idea that time heals all wounds.” — Room Magazine
“Giangrande has written a thought-provoking story that will have your heart racing, bursting, and breaking. The story is thoughtful, slow-going, and emotional. The prose is beautiful. The characters are interesting, flawed, and realistic. And the ways in which this book explores life and death through the pain of waiting and not knowing is superb. I just loved this book so hard. It was terrific!” — A Bookish Way of Life
“The wording is both elegant and poetic… the author, accomplished painting vivid images within my mind’s eye that will never be forgotten. Overall this book is unique, being unlike anything I have read before. Go get a copy! You will not be disappointed.” —Readaholic Zone
There’s a yarn about two luminaries meeting at a party — one the legendary Canadian writer Margaret Laurence and the other the celebrated brain surgeon Wilder Penfield. The doctor spoke to Ms Laurence and said, “So you’re a writer. I’ve often thought that when I retire, I’d like to take up writing.” To which she replied, “I’ve often thought that when I retire, I’d like to take up brain surgery.”
I have no idea if this story is true, but it’s a witty comeback, one that pops a ballooning misconception about writing — namely, that anyone can do it. No kidding — literacy is widespread and we can all write. Yet composing tweets won’t turn you into Margaret Atwood, any more than balancing your checkbook will make you a mathematician. Like every other profession, writing takes a lot of work and discipline. Just like...brain surgery.
Serious writers know this and don’t worry too much about other peoples’ misunderstandings. Yet I can tell you from experience that sometimes writers have to overcome a few weird ideas of our own.
I, for one, like things tidy and organized, and when I began writing fiction, I was horrified by the total mess of my first drafts, and even more dismayed by the patchwork way in which the pieces of the narrative stumbled and fell into place. Eventually I made peace with this sloppy process by comparing it to ... baking a pie. Nobody cares about all those patched-up rips in the dough, buried under that tasty custard filling.
A review of my new novel The Tender Birds praised my “ability to let the story unfold at a reasonable pace” - neither too brisk, nor too slow. No need for that reviewer to know about the chaos of botched chronology, tangled story lines, two and a half points of view (the half being Daisy the falcon’s) and the chill dread that nothing will fix up the mess on my screen. I used to feel embarrassed by good reviews, as if by arriving at my goal in such an untidy fashion, I couldn’t claim to be talented, just lucky. Now I know better. I’d fallen for the mystique of writing, not the reality. The truth is that every writer messes up. No one gets it right the first time.
This is about the most wisdom I have to impart to beginning writers — love what you do, and accept that it’s a messy process. Your impulse to write is alive, like a squalling baby who’s frustrated, wanting to join in the conversation and lacking the words. As the parent of a new creation, your job is to give your bundle of life the language to say what it wants to say. Writing is untidy work, but like that newborn, it brings joy.
About the Author:
Carole Giangrande is the award-winning author of ten books, including the novella A Gardener on the Moon (winner of the 2010 Ken Klonsky Award) and the novel All That Is Solid Melts Into Air (2018 Independent Publishers Gold Medal for Literary Fiction). The Tender Birds is her fourth novel. She’s worked as a broadcast journalist for CBC Radio (Canada's public broadcaster), and her fiction, poetry, articles and reviews have appeared in literary journals and in Canada’s major newspapers. In her spare time, she loves exploring nature with her partner Brian, photographing birds and studying French.
Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook
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