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Accidental Birds of the Carolinas Paperback – May 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Press 53 (May 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935708309
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935708308
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,160,592 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Marjorie Hudson was born in a small town in Illinois, grew up in Washington, D.C., and now lives in Chatham County, North Carolina. Her debut story collection, Accidental Birds of the Carolinas, was a PEN/Hemingway Honorable Mention for Distinguished First Fiction and was selected as Perpetual Folly's Best Story Collection of 2011. Her creative nonfiction book, Searching for Virginia Dare, was a North Carolina Arts Council Notable Book. Her poems, stories, and essays have been collected in 5 anthologies and have won many honors, including two Pushcart Special Mentions and a North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship.

Hudson teaches writing workshops through her own Kitchen Table Writers Workshops (see http://www.kitchentablewriters.wordpress.com), and she lectures through NC Humanities Council's Road Scholar Program (http://nchumanities.org).

Customer Reviews

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What a terrific collection of stories this is!
Clifford Garstang
The writing describes the inner lives of the characters in ways that make their experiences universal as well as personal for the reader.
Francine Pilloff
Marjorie Hudson's writing is so beautiful and real.
Janet C. Harvey-Clark

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Debra Monroe on April 16, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book is funny, sweet, written with clarity and poetry. She is a master of the short story. It's published by a small press--and recognized for a big award. But because it is a small press the book has gotten hardly any reviews so most people don't know about it. I read the first story and sighed with pleasure, and turned back to page 1 to read it again because I wanted it to happen to me all over again. I was continually torn between reading slowly to savor the language and reading quickly to find what will happen. I LOVE this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Cole M. on May 3, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Elegant, lyrical, beautifully crafted stories, each bearing the distinctive voice of its central character, each faultlessly charting the soul's movement toward and through significant change. I'm grateful to the friend who recommended this special collection, and am eager to share Hudson's compelling work with others. Very highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Walter Bennett on January 12, 2013
Format: Paperback
For my money, short fiction contains some of our best writing. I don't read a lot of it because I like getting into the stream of a novel and following it to the end. Short stories are more like eating a meal one item at a time.

Not so with these terrific stories from Marjorie Hudson. Individually, they are gems. Taken as a whole they paint as coherent a picture of life, with all it's hopes, dreams, pain, and tenderness, as I've seen in print. Plus, there is an almost uncanny feel for the magic of nature and why one is drawn to it. You can almost touch it--I mean in a down-on-your knees, smelling the Spring earth sort of way. Ms. Hudson knows how to invest readers in the fate of characters. She winds up her plots like a delicate watch. And she knows when to "turn" a story (and the reader) at just the right time toward the finish line. You sense it coming, but you don't know what it is until the subtle-but-powerful, emotional moment arrives. Beautifully done.

For writers and other connoisseurs of good writing, there are additional rewards. I've been pondering the clarity of the prose in these stories since I read them, why they read so easily, flow so steady and pure. I'm not sure what the answer is, but when I think about the "great" American short story writers--Raymond Carver, say, or Hemingway--I see as I read them a very intense stylist wielding the pen. With Ms. Hudson's stories, I was not conscious of a stylist. They seemed to speak from inside my brain. This is a rare achievement for a writer. The author vanishes. The story is there. And yet there is somewhere, maybe only a whisper behind the curtain, a feeling of companionship, a trusted guide the whole way.

Ms. Hudson is a terrific writer. Do not miss this book!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Suzanne Kamata on June 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
I was drawn in by the intriguing title and arresting cover art, and then fell in love with Hudson's lyrical writing. Jars are whole tomatoes are "suspended like peeled human hearts in clear plasma." A face is leathery, "like a work boot." There is a love of nature in these pages, evidenced by the birds that flit and fly through each story, the flora and fauna of rural North Carolina, and also a keen understanding of human nature. For these stories are about humans, after all, especially those displaced from north (or in one case west) to south like the accidental birds of the title - those found outside their normal range, breeding area, or migration path, arrived through storm, wind, or unusual weather.

In the title story, a retired military couple settle in the South after many years of living abroad. Although Rand, the husband, hates his new surroundings, his wife takes up nesting with enthusiasm. In the lovely opening story "The Clearing," a woman from up north settles in a southern town, intending to live a solitary life, but she finds herself becoming increasingly involved with her new neighbors. And in the novella that makes up the second half of the book, a young woman brought up in a Mennonite sect in Nebraska, ventures out of her sheltered life into the outside world, only to retreat into the woods with a Vietnam veteran enamored of Thoreau.

Whether writing in the voice of a sixteen-year-old carnie, an 18th century Native American, or a second wife, Hudson displays her virtuosity. This is a wonderful collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Francine Pilloff on January 7, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this book. The writing describes the inner lives of the characters in ways that make their experiences universal as well as personal for the reader. I feel enriched after reading this book. If you like books that probe the spirit, the psychology and the hearts of the characters, you, too, will love this book...I hope!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steve Mitchell on May 12, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Marjorie Hudson chronicles the way a location can drift into our bones and settle there, changing us slowly; the way our lives change without our noticing. All of the characters here are struggling to make a place for themselves in the world, negotiating their own isolation, haunted by other versions of their lives. There's a subtlety and mystery to these lives which doesn't resolve easily or neatly.

The prose unfolds quietly, edging us into their thoughts and lives while, on nearly every page, a phrase or sentence rings in the air like the aftertone of a bell. Crisp with the scent of pine, ripe with birdsong, these stories sound and linger.
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