Elsewhere In the Land of Parrots
By Jim Paul
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Hardcover, 9780151004959, 320pp.)
Publication Date: July 2003
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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Reclusive David Huntington writes rigorously meaningless poetry to great acclaim. But he lives fearfully, sleeping and working with earplugs, rarely going outside, drawing his life more closely around him every day.
A wild parrot, a gift from his father, becomes the breach in the dike: Little Wittgenstein has a jungle shriek, fierce eyes, and a beak that wreaks havoc. David finally throws the bird out the window--and follows it into the world. His guilty search for the parrot takes him first to Telegraph Hill, where the parrot may have found others of its kind. Inexorably David is drawn even farther, lured to South America by rumors of an ancient flock in the wild mangrove swamps. There he meets the lovely level-headed Fern, an American scientist who has her own reasons for searching for the birds. Will he retreat, or follow the parrots' call?
Jim Paul has created a tender, whimsical romance, told with wit and subtlety, about having the courage to heed the messages the world sends you, and to welcome unexpected love.
Jim Paul is a poet, a translator, and the author of three books. A recipient of a Wallace Stegner Creative Writing Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship, he has also served on the faculty at Bread Loaf. He lives in the Rincon Mountains in southern Arizona.
PRAISE FOR MEDIEVAL IN L.A.
"Each sentence in this genial novel bursts with information, gorgeously put."
--The New Yorker
PRAISE FOR CATAPULT
"Delightfully whimsical . . . sneakily profound."--The New York Times
"A roller-coaster ride through the intellect and imagination of a poet in the thrall of a grand obsession . . . So funny that I could not put it down."--Los Angeles Times
"Great fun! The parrots are the heroes, while the humans are adrift. A gentle, luminous tale, beautifully told."
-Leslie Marmon Silko
"...an engaging, witty, and surprisingly touching narrative, which lures us into dreaming the dreams ... of a flock of parrots."
"Parrots aren''t common in fiction, but Paul infuses them with symbolism and romance enough to make you wonder why not."
"Endearingly hapless lovebirds. [T]heir foibles are as colorful as the plumage of the creatures that bring them together."
"Engaging, lyrical, and funny."
"A spritely romantic travelogue."