Firebird

A Memoir

By Mark Doty
(Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780060931971, 228pp.)

Publication Date: September 2000

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Description

In Firebird, Mark Doty tells the story of a ten-year-old in a top hat, cane, and red chiffon scarf, interrupted while belting out Judy Garland's "Get Happy" by his alarmed mother at the bedroom door, exclaiming, "Son, you're a boy!"

Firebird presents us with a heroic little boy who has quite enough worries without discovering that his dawning sexuality is the Wrong One. A self-confessed "chubby smart bookish sissy with glasses and a Southern accent," Doty grew up on the move, the family following his father's engineering work across America-from Tennessee to Arizona, Florida to California. A lyrical, heartbreaking comedy of one family's dissolution through the corrosive powers of alcohol, sorrow, and thwarted desire, Firebird is also a wry evocation of childhood's pleasures and terrors, a comic tour of American suburban life, and a testament to the transformative power of art.




About the Author
Mark Doty is an award-winning poet and memoirist. His eight books of poetry include School of the Arts, Source, Atlantis, and My Alexandria. His Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems won the National Book Award for Poetry in 2008. Doty has published four volumes of nonfiction including the memoirs Heaven's Coast, Firebird, and Dog Years, which was a New York Times bestseller in 2007. Widely anthologized, his poems appear in The Norton Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry and many other collections. Doty is the recipient of a National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, a Whiting Writers Award, and two Lambda Literary Awards. He's the only American poet who has received the T.S. Eliot Prize in the UK, and has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Lila Wallace/Readers Digest Foundation.
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