We live in a world that prizes the fast over the slow, the new over the familiar and work over rest. Birds Art Life Death is Kyo Maclear’s beautiful journey to stake out a sense of meaning amid the crushing rush.
One winter Kyo Maclear felt unmoored. Her father had recently fallen ill and she suddenly found herself a little lost. In the midst of this crisis, she met a musician who loved birds. When he watched birds and began to photograph them, his worries dissipated. Curious, she began to accompany him on his urban birdwatching expeditions and witnessed the magic of a transient city. Birds Art Life Death asks how we might gain perspective and overcome our anxieties by learning to cherish the urban wild spaces in which we live. Kyo urges us to find a subtle but restorative meaning in the everyday.
Reviews of Birds Art Life Death: The Art of Noticing the Small and Significant
- ‘Original, charming, a little eccentric even. This book is a delight’ Nigel Slater
- ‘A literary jewel box … [Maclear’s] tiny gems of thought are borne of purposeful waiting, quietude and reflection … Maclear’s book is appealing in its appreciation of non-human nature in the midst of city life, agnosticism about the place of human activity in the midst of nature’s rhythms and exploration of the relationship between captivity and freedom’ Publishers Weekly
- ‘A meditation on freedom and confinement and the creative tension between the two. … The simple precision of Maclear’s prose belies the depth, as if the book were the tip of the iceberg and what she has elided or omitted constitutes the rest. Writers and others will find inspiration in the advice to stop and hear the birds’ Kirkus Reviews
- ‘Intricate and delicate as birdsong, Kyo Maclear’s clear-eyed observations of the natural world and our place in it challenge the velocity of modern life. A year spent birding is a year spent in passionate introspection. As she discovers beauty in urban cityscape, she leads us to turn fresh eyes to our surroundings. Her beloved birds become messengers of both loss and hope’ Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way
- ‘A beautifully crafted memoir that elevates the ordinary with intelligence and humility’ Leslie Feist, musician
- ‘Maclear’s writing is fresh and focused. If you’ve ever felt any of the emotions she discusses – worry for one’s parents, feeling stuck, feeling insignificant, feeling lost – there will be a passage in this book that will resonate’ Emerald Street