In The Land Of Birdfishes [Paperback] by Rebecca Silver Slayter

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Silver Slayter’s writing sings as she weaves her own imaginative aboriginal tales of Creation through the story.
-Toronto Star

Synopsis

This remarkable novel about myth-making and survival opens in rural Nova Scotia, where two sisters witness the suicide of their wild, beautiful mother. Their father, sick with grief, blindfolds the children to shield them from the misery of the world. Left that way for years, they are each scarred in their own way: Mara is rendered fully blind, and Aileen partly so. When a neighbour discovers their condition, they are immediately separated for treatment, and it isn’t until decades later, after Aileen’s marriage has fallen apart, that she decides to seek out her lost sister. She heads to Dawson City, Yukon, where Mara is said to be living, but instead finds Mara’s angry young son, Jason.

Soon Aileen has insinuated her way into the hard-drinking, hard-living existence of Dawson City’s residents, from whom she hears various conflicting stories about her sister. When the novel shifts to Jason’s perspective, the reader starts to understand the nature of these stories and the underlying secrets that compel their creation.

Engaging and deeply moving, In the Land of Birdfishes builds inevitably to a shocking and heartbreaking conclusion. When I had eyes, I saw my sister’s hair (yellow), my mother’s back, small rocks that the water took out and in from the shore with gasps of its deep ocean lungs. I remember my own hands, how tiny they were beside my father’s. One day he put my hands in his and showed me how they disappeared, like that, inside his fist. Both my hands: gone. I lost all this—lost everything—but slowly.

 

About Rebecca Silver Slayter

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REBECCA SILVER SLAYTER’s fiction and non-fiction have appeared in such publications as The Antigonish Review, The Hart House Review, Brick, Rabble.ca, Quill & Quire and The Walrus. She has received numerous awards and scholarships, including the David McKeen Award for Best Creative Writing Thesis forIn the Land of Birdfishes. She lives in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.
 
Published April 16, 2013 by HarperCollins Publishers. 400 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for In The Land Of Birdfishes [Paperback]
All: 3 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 0

Toronto Star

Good
Reviewed by Jennifer Hunter on Apr 26 2013

Silver Slayter’s writing sings as she weaves her own imaginative aboriginal tales of Creation through the story.

Read Full Review of In The Land Of Birdfishes [Pa... | See more reviews from Toronto Star

National Post arts

Excellent
Reviewed by Jennifer LoveGrove on Apr 19 2013

In the Land of Birdfishes is poetic and allegorical. Beautiful motifs of birds and fish recur elegantly throughout the novel, and these sustained metaphors succeed without heavy-handedness or clunky distraction.

Read Full Review of In The Land Of Birdfishes [Pa... | See more reviews from National Post arts

National Post arts

Good
Reviewed by Jennifer LoveGrove on Apr 19 2013

In the Land of Birdfishes is poetic and allegorical. Beautiful motifs of birds and fish recur elegantly throughout the novel, and these sustained metaphors succeed without heavy-handedness or clunky distraction.

Read Full Review of In The Land Of Birdfishes [Pa... | See more reviews from National Post arts

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