Layne Maheu lives in Seattle with his son and makes his living as a carpenter. After taking a degree in literature from the University of California, Santa Barbara, he traveled to Alaska to work on fishing boats. Later, during the winters in Seattle he learned carpentry. He was born in Burlington, Vermont, and grew up on both coasts, in Massachusetts and California. His intense interest in crows grew out of an experience he had on the coast of Oregon on his honeymoon. He was already a bird watcher, but came upon a man who had been watching the same aerie of falcons for 13 years. Fascinated and deeply impressed by the wealth of knowledge this man had accrued by concentrating on one species of bird, he decided to do the same, eventually settling on the crow family. Layne Maheu is the author of Song of the Crow, a take on the tale of Noah's Ark from a crow's perspective.
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Awk Talk: Questions and Answers with Layne Maheu
How did you come up with the title Song of the Crow?
Its hard to imagine a Crows voice as particularly musical, or all that pretty. But I suppose the crows themselves react favorably to their own calls. I chose the word song for the irony, from our perspective, and also for how it would fit within the crows point of view. The narrator of the story is a crow.
Originally I had entitled the book Songs Long Gone. I imagine that crows might have provincial variations in their calls, and perhaps individual calls that they use to establish themselves. In the narrative, their homes, or aeries, are called songscapes. And since theres a flood that wipes everything out, well, the songs go with it.
Then, when the story was picked up by Unbridled Books, Fred Ramey, my editor there, thought that the title should show the unique perspective of the narrator, and so did I. So we kept Song and added Crow.
What is your book about?
Its an ancient, ancient story, and most likely one of the first stories youve ever heard, back in childhood. Its the story of Noahs Ark. But this time, it&...
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