The Birdcatcher: Book summary and reviews of The Birdcatcher by Gayl Jones

The Birdcatcher

by Gayl Jones

The Birdcatcher by Gayl Jones X
The Birdcatcher by Gayl Jones
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  • Published Sep 2022
    216 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Book Summary

Legendary writer Gayl Jones returns with a stunning new novel about Black American artists in exile.

Gayl Jones, the novelist Toni Morrison discovered decades ago and Tayari Jones recently called her favorite writer, has been described as one of the great literary writers of the 20th century. Now, for the first time in over 20 years, Jones is publishing again. In the wake of her long-awaited fifth novel, Palmares, The Birdcatcher is another singular achievement, a return to the circles of her National Book Award finalist, The Healing.

Set primarily on the island of Ibiza, the story is narrated by the writer Amanda Wordlaw, whose closest friend, a gifted sculptor named Catherine Shuger, is repeatedly institutionalized for trying to kill a husband who never leaves her. The three form a quirky triangle on the white-washed island.

A study in Black women's creative expression, and the intensity of their relationships, this work from Jones shows off her range and insight into the vicissitudes of all human nature - rewarding longtime fans and bringing her talent to a new generation of readers.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Jones continues her marvelous run after last year's Pulitzer finalist Palmares with the gloriously demented story of an artist who keeps trying to kill her husband....Jones, implicitly defiant, draws deeply from classic and global literature—a well-placed reference to Cervantes's windmills leaves the reader's head spinning. And like one of Amanda's inventive novels, this one ends on a surprising and playful turn. It ought to be required reading." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"The remarkable latest release by acclaimed novelist and poet Jones...Her prose is captivating, at moments coolly observational and at others profoundly intimate; the delicate balance is the mark of a truly great storyteller. An intriguing, tightly crafted, and insightful meditation on creativity and complicated friendships." - Booklist (starred review)

"Jones' mercurial, often inscrutable body of work delivers yet another change-up to readers' expectations." - Kirkus Reviews

This information about The Birdcatcher was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Gayl Jones

Gayl Jones was born in Kentucky in 1949. She attended Connecticut College and Brown University, and has taught at Wellesley and the University of Michigan. Her landmark books include Corregidora, Eva's Man, and The Healing, the last a National Book Award finalist and New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Her book Palmares was named a New York Times Editors' Choice and has received countless other accolades.

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