The Bird Artist
By Howard Norman
(Picador, Paperback, 9780312130275, 304pp.)
Publication Date: March 1995
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Howard Norman's The Bird Artist, the first book of his Canadian trilogy, begins in 1911. Its narrator, Fabian Vas is a bird artist: He draws and paints the birds of Witless Bay, his remote Newfoundland coastal village home. In the first paragraph of his tale Fabian reveals that he has murdered the village lighthouse keeper, Botho August. Later, he confesses who and what drove him to his crime--a measured, profoundly engrossing story of passion, betrayal, guilt, and redemption between men and women. The Bird Artist is a 1994 National Book Award Finalist for Fiction.
Howard Norman is also a National Book Award finalist for The Northern Lights. His other works include The Museum Guard, The Chauffeur, a collection of stories, and The Haunting of L., his most recent novel. He received a Lannan Award in fiction. He resides in Vermont and Washington D.C.
"A classic story . . . All that is splendid and spectacular in the book is simply light, magically employed to seek out what is real." --Richard Eder, The Los Angeles Times Book Review
"Bewitching . . . glows like a night light in the reader's mind." --Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
"Completely original and compelling . . . written with great intelligence, wit and clarity." --Anne Whitehouse, The Boston Sunday Globe
"[The Bird Artist] combines colorful backwoods eccentrics and gothic melodrama that strongly resembles the work of film director David Lynch." --Edward B. St. John, Library Journal