My name is Avocet Abigail Jackson. But because Mama couldn't find anyone who thought Avocet was a fine name for a child, she called me Bird. Which is okay by me. She named both her children after birds, her logic being that if we were named for something with wings then maybe we'd be able to fly above the shit in our lives. . . .
So says Bird Jackson, the mesmerizing narrator of Connie May Fowler's vivid and brilliantly written, Before Women Had Wings.
Starstruck by a dime-store picture of Jesus, Bird fancies herself "His girlfriend" and embarks upon a spiritual quest for salvation, even as the chaos of her home life plunges her into a stony silence. In stark and honest language, she tells the tragic life of her father, a sweet-talking wanna-be country music star, tracks her older sister's perilous journey into womanhood, and witnesses her mother make a courageous and ultimately devastating decision.
Yet most profound is Bird's own story--her struggle to sift through the ashes of her parents' lives, her meeting with Miss Zora, a healer whose prayers over the bones of winged creatures are meant to guide their souls to heaven, and her will to make sense of a world where fear is more plentiful than hope, retribution more valued than love. . . .
"A thing of heart-rending beauty, a moving exploration of love and loss, violence and grief, forgiveness and redemption."
"There is no denying the depth of Connie May Fowler's talent and the breadth of her imagination."
--The New York Times Book Review
--The Boston Sunday Globe
About the Author
Connie May Fowler is an essayist and screenwriter, as well as the author of three previous novels, including "Sugar Cage" and "River of Hidden Dreams," In 1996, she published "Before Women Had Wings," later a successful "Oprah Winfrey Presents" TV movie, winner of the 1996 Southern Book Critics Circle Award, and paperback bestseller. She lives in Florida with her husband.
"From the Trade Paperback edition."