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A Summer of Birds: John James Audubon at Oakley House (The Hill Collection: Holdings of the LSU Libraries) Hardcover – April 1, 2008
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"Danny Heitman has a wonderful eye for detail, an ear for life's most resounding rhythms, and a heart ever open to understanding what makes us who we are. Across the years John James Audubon has found a friend in Mr. Heitman--a friend who tells this story beautifully." -- Bob Greene, National Public Radio Commentator and author of And You Know You Should Be Glad and Once Upon a Town
"I have no doubt that D. H. Lawrence--passionate advocate for 'spirit of place' in American literature--would have admired this book. Danny Heitman has entered a pivotal slice of John James Audubon's life on the brink of Birds of America, taking the fortunate reader along and re-awakening a vision of forests and wildlife around Oakley House in the sultry summer of 1821. The result is richly satisfying and artful: local history as poetic metaphor." -- Neil Baldwin, author of Edison: Inventing the Century and The American Revelation: Ten Ideals That Shaped Our Country from the Puritans to the Cold War
About the Author
Danny Heitman is an award-winning columnist for the The Advocate (Baton Rouge) and a member of the The Advocate's editorial board. He has contributed essays to the Smithsonian, Christian Science Monitor, and other national publications and recently won the In Character prize for editorial and opinion writing.
Top Customer Reviews
I knew that would the case with this book, and I was not disappointed. Although I am a native of Louisiana, I must confess that I've never examined the life of Audobon nor his oeuvre. Nor am I a birder. I am simply someone who loves history and stories. Heitman tells an interesting story, and tells it well. Using the nominally episodic setting of one summer in the forests of Oakley, Heitman weaves the story of Audobon's life, dreams, and ambitions, and you leave this book with a grasp of who Audobon really was. I may never read another book about Audobon, but I know him now.
You'll find this a quick and satisfying read, by a writer who deserves the opportunity to tell us more interesting stories in the years to come.
The book is expertly written and rich in historical detail. Heitman's enthusiasm for his subject, and his love of his native Louisiana, is evident on every page.