Item: The Bedside Book of Birds: An Avian Miscellany
The Bedside Book of Birds: An Avian Miscellany
By Graeme Gibson
In this stunning assemblage of words and images, novelist and avid birdwatcher Graeme Gibson has crafted an extraordinary tribute to the venerable relationship between humans and birds.
Birds have ever been the symbols of our highest aspirations. As divine messengers, symbols of our yearning for the heavens, or avatars of glorious song and colour, they have stirred our imaginations from the moment we first looked into the sky. Whether as the Christian dove, or Quetzalcoatl—the Aztec Plumed Serpent—or in Plato’s vision of the human soul growing wings and feathers, religion and philosophy have looked to birds as representatives of our better selves—that part of us not bound to the earth.
With the passion of a birdwatcher and hoarder of words, Gibson has spent fifteen years collecting the literary and artistic forms our affinity for birds has taken over the centuries. Birds appear again and again in mythology and folk tales, and in literature by writers as diverse as Ovid, Thomas Hardy, Kafka, Thoreau and T.S. Eliot. They’ve been omens, allegories, disguises and guides; they’ve been worshipped, eaten, feared and loved. Nor does Gibson forget the fascination they hold for science, as the Galapagos finches did for Darwin. Birds figure charmingly and tellingly in the work of such nature writers as Gilbert White, Peter Matthiessen, Farley Mowat and Barry Lopez.
Gorgeously illustrated, woven from centuries of human response to the delights of the feathered tribes, The Bedside Book of Birds is for anyone who is aware of birds, and for everyone who is intrigued by the artistic forms that humanity has created to represent its soul.
About the Author:
Graeme Gibson is the acclaimed author of Five Legs, Perpetual Motion and Gentleman Death. He is a past president of PEN Canada and the recipient of both the Harbourfront Festival Prize and the Toronto Arts Award, and is a member of the Order of Canada. He has been a council member of World Wildlife Fund Canada, and is chairman of the Pelee Island Bird Observatory. Gibson lives in Toronto with his spouse of thirty-five years, writer Margaret Atwood.
Availability: Please allow 3-7 business days for delivery, via Media Mail
Edition: Hardcover, 384 pages
Publisher: Nan. A. Talese, 2005
List Price: $29.95