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Birds Art Life

A Year of Observation
Narrated by: Laurel Lefkow
Length: 4 hrs and 48 mins
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)
Regular price: $33.53
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Publisher's Summary

A writer's search for inspiration, beauty, and solace leads her to birds in this intimate and exuberant meditation on creativity and life - a field guide to things small and significant.

For Vladimir Nabokov, it was butterflies. For John Cage, it was mushrooms. For Sylvia Plath, it was bees. Each of these artists took time away from their work to become observers of natural phenomena. In 2012, Kyo Maclear met a local Toronto musician with an equally captivating side passion - he had recently lost his heart to birds. Curious about what prompted this young urban artist to suddenly embrace nature, Kyo decides to follow him for a year and find out.

A distilled, crystal-like companion to H Is for Hawk, this memoir celebrates the particular madness of loving and chasing after birds in a big city. Intimate and philosophical, moving with ease between the granular and the grand view, it celebrates the creative and liberating effects of keeping your eyes and ears wide open and explores what happens when you apply the core lessons of birding to other aspects of life. In one sense this is a book about disconnection - how our passions can buckle under the demands and emotions of daily life - and about reconnection: how the act of seeking passion and beauty in small ways can lead us to discover our most satisfying life. On a deeper level, it takes up the questions of how we are shaped and nurtured by our parallel passions and how we might come to cherish not only the world's pristine natural places but also the blemished urban spaces where most of us live.

Birds Art Life follows two artists on a yearlong adventure that is at once a meditation on the nature of creativity and a quest for a good and meaningful life.

©2017 Kyo Maclear (P)2017 Penguin Random House Canada

Critic Reviews

"A wondrous little book about 'being a little lost'." (The New York Times)

"An incandescent exploration of beauty, inspiration, art, family, and freedom that seems to leave no topic out of its binocular scope." (Toronto Star)

"Every now and then you read a book that changes the way you see the world. For me, Birds Art Life is one such book. The writing is marvelously pure and honest and light. At the same time, magically, it is erudite, generous and brimming with meaning and event. It is a book I know I will return to again and again for inspiration and solace." (Barbara Gowdy, author of The White Bone and We So Seldom Look on Love)

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