The first time I heard about Brad Kessler‘s new novel, Birds in Fall, was when I read an excerpt of it in the most recent Kenyon Review. I was completely awestruck and even more so once I read the follow up interview between Kessler and fiction editor, Nancy Zafris.
Then when my dear friend Kat read the novel, she passed it on to me. I was excited to read it and it did not disappoint. This beautiful novel is infused with science, mythology, history, art, literature, music, and above all else, emotion.
At it’s core, naturally, are the birds–what they represent literally (in a scientific sense–their ability to migrate, to find their way back home, time and again) and metaphorically. So, it is a book of comings and goings–but of always finding one’s way back to that place of safety, of home, of love.
It was happenstance that at the same time I was reading this book, I happened to watch the beautiful, engaging, and often heartbreaking Winged Migration. If you have not seen this film, I would urge you to do so. If you are like Allen and me, you will watch it with your jaw dropped open saying, again and again, “How did they film that?” and then finally giving in to–letting go and just becoming part of the flock.