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Birds of Paradise: A Novel Hardcover – September 6, 2011
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“This Jordanian American author writes about food so enticingly that her books should be published on sheets of phyllo dough. Birds of Paradise contains her most mouthwatering writing ever, but it’s no light after-dinner treat. This is a full-course meal, a rich, complex and memorable story that will leave you lingering gratefully at her table.”
- Ron Charles, The Washington Post
“The Muirs’ absorbing story builds to a thoroughly satisfying climax.”
- Sue Corbett, People Magazine
“The novel itself swells with life and style, with the stark contrast of the delicacy of fancy pastries and the down and dirty life on the beach.”
- Alan Cheuse, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA., NPR, All Things Considered
“Diana Abu-Jaber’s gorgeous novel explores the ways a modern family can break down and be reborn. She writes with a precise, almost poetic distillation of feeling, heightened in contrast to the ripe, exuberant landscape and the unsettled feelings of a family in limbo.”
- Amy Driscoll, Miami Herald
“With Birds of Paradise, Abu-Jaber has made an amazing, gigantic leap into rare air, that hazy stratosphere we jokingly call The Big Time. Her novel is that worthy, and that beautiful.”
- Christine Selk, The Oregonian
About the Author
Diana Abu-Jaber is the award-winning author of four novels, including Crescent, and two memoirs, Life Without a Recipe and The Language of Baklava. She and her family divide time between Miami, Florida, and Portland, Oregon.
Top customer reviews
Truth be told, I've been reading mostly non fiction for the past few years, self help, food books, et al and was getting tired of them and just wanted to "escape" into a book that would take me away. I had just finished "A Walk in the Woods" and thought I'd check out a local Miami talent so purchased the Kindle version of Birds of Paradise.
Normally, I would not have picked up this book because I don't read a lot of books about "kids" so initially the subject matter didn't necessarily appeal to me, but the fact that the author is a local Miamian, I wanted to support her but also I was curious about the inclusion of the pastries! I soon found out that Birds of Paradise was not a book about a "kid" but much more than that and the fact that the pastry making was interwoven throughout, actually drove me crazy with cravings!
I really enjoyed it. I like books that make me think...and this one did. It made me think about my friend's daughter who is a bit too "grown up" at 12, it made me think about my own innocence at that age, it made me think about my own marriage. I like that.
I also enjoyed the Miami setting and the time frame as I, myself, moved to Miami in the summer of 2005, just in time for hurricanes Katrina, Wilma and Rita AND I became a realtor and went to all the events for the pre-con phase! It made the book that much more real to me.
Abu-Jabar's writing style is descriptive and took me "there" to the book's setting, I could see Avis' backyard, imagine her sugary kitchen and the heaviness of sub tropical life in Miami.
Well done. I truly took pleasure in reading it and highly recommend this. Thanks!
Crescent and Arabian Jazz were very good books, and I loved them, and I also loved Ms. Abu-Jaber's family memoir - The Language of Baklava. I wish she would get back to writing other books similar in style to her earlier books as they were far more interesting and more engaging than her later 2 books, and additionally the characters in the earlier books were much better portrayed.
Anyone with children will surely relate to the characters as they wend their way through their lives.