A Year on the Wing
Journeys with Birds in Flight
By Tim Dee
(Atria Books, Paperback, 9781416559344, 240pp.)
Publication Date: October 12, 2010
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Birds—those “upgiven ghosts” who shape our skies—and their many styles of flying have inspired us for centuries. Enthralled with birds since he was a young boy, Tim Dee describes their allure in compelling, poetic prose as he follows these magnificent creatures on land, at sea, and in the air over the course of a year. A memoir of the author’s life as well as a stirring account of bird migrations and the enticements of flight, the book explores the ideas and feelings that birds awaken by their flying.
A Year on the Wing is also a significant chronicle of Dee’s rich reading of a gorgeous literary and naturalist tradition about birds, and achieves a marvelous commingling of nature and language, finding meaning and a fascinating beauty in the quiver of a redstart’s tail, in the thrilling skydiving stoop of the once-endangered now resurgent peregrine falcon, and the nocturnal restlessness of migrant woodcocks. Watching birds instills a renewed sense of wonder in us all, and this beautifully written memoir celebrates birds and the inspiration they give as it expands our horizons.
Tim Dee is a poet and an art host, producer and reviewer at the BBC since 1988. He was born in Liverpool in 1961, received a BA in English from Cambridge University and pursued postgraduate study in Hungarian poetry at the University of Budapest, worked as a research assistant for the International Council for Bird Preservation, and is currently editing the Penguin Book of Bird Poetry with Simon Armitage. He has been watching birds since he was 3.
Named Memoir of the Year in the UK Sunday Times
"Extraordinary, beautifully written account...conveys powerfully how birds are part of our lives...and offers a perfect balance of science, personal memoir, and emotional response." --Sunday Times
“Dee is a captivating writer—almost every sentence contains surprises and flourishes. A rich book by a skillful, contemplative wordsmith." --Library Journal