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The Night Bird Cantata
     

The Night Bird Cantata

4.0 1
by Donald Rawley
 

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"A striking story of unbelievable cruelty and mettle, told in startling language and laced with gentle humor. . .L.P. should go down in history as one of the all-time true survivors." -- Scott Campbell, author of Touched

"Brutally gorgeous, triumphantly lyrical, and unmistakably brilliant." -- Kate Braverman, author of Squandering the Blue

In a debut

Overview

"A striking story of unbelievable cruelty and mettle, told in startling language and laced with gentle humor. . .L.P. should go down in history as one of the all-time true survivors." -- Scott Campbell, author of Touched

"Brutally gorgeous, triumphantly lyrical, and unmistakably brilliant." -- Kate Braverman, author of Squandering the Blue

In a debut novel of startling lyrical power, author Donald Rawley re-creates the long, hot Southwestern summer of 1968 through the eyes of ten-year-old Lindsay Paul ("L.P.") Fowler—a hard, pretty, and effeminate only child in a wealthy Arizona family. Abandoned without warning by his self-involved mother and cruel, dictatorial grandmother, L.P. is sent off to spend a magical summer with Betty, his grandmother's maid, in black South Phoenix. A former jazz singer at war with inner demons of her own, Betty is the only adult in L.P.'s small universe with room in her heart for the troubled boy—offering him a friendship born of shared pain. And in a remarkable season of fever dreams, betrayals, loss, and rude sexual awakenings, L.P. will learn much about the fragile masks grown-ups hide behind and the weapons they use to wound, setting him free for flight, like the unseen night birds, singing in the dark.

"Rawley's writing blazes unapologetically fecund and startling, like some kind of bird of paradise from Mars. It is a literary movement in itself."
--Sandra Tsing Loh

"Donald Rawley is the literary equivalent of amyl nitrate. Reading this searing talent may give you a heart attack, but you'll die with a twisted, sated smile of gratitude on your lips."
--Jerry Stahl, author of Permanent Midnight

"Rawley's style is sumptuous and baroque. He has an uncanny knack for making the bizarre beautiful and for capturing the pathos and peculiar dignity of characters who wouldn't ordinarily command respect."
--The Observer (London)

"A deeply felt … first novel by the recently deceased Rawley, a poet whod been a contributing editor at Buzz, chronicles a ten-year-old boy's lonely but transformative summer spent with his family's maid. This portrait of a child's powerlessness and capacity for wonder is poignant."
--Kirkus (regarding The Night Bird Cantata)

Product Details

BN ID:
2940012223333
Publisher:
Lukeman Literary
Publication date:
02/14/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
141 KB

Meet the Author

The late Donald Rawley is considered one of the finest literary talents to come out of Los Angeles. He is author of the novel THE NIGHT BIRD CANTATA (Avon/Bard Books in the US and Flamingo/HarperCollins in the UK), SLOW DANCE ON THE FAULT LINE (stories) (Avon/Bard Books in the US and Flamingo/HarperCollins in the UK), TINA IN THE BACK SEAT (stories) (Avon/Bard Books), THE VIEW FROM BABYLON (essays) (Warner Books), and THE END OF MISS KIND, his final, brilliant, novella, published posthumously by Flamingo/HarperCollins in the UK. A former contributing editor at Buzz Magazine, Mr. Rawley was published in a wide array of prestigious magazines, including The New Yorker, Harpers, Story, American Short Fiction, Yellow Silk, Press and The Los Angeles Times Magazine, and twice made the "Distinguished 100" list in BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES. An award-winning poet and successful screenwriter, he also published four books of poetry and wrote three screenplays, all of which were optioned for feature film. He won a Pushcart Prize for fiction and carried endorsements from Jerry Stahl, Kate Braverman and Sandra Tsing Loh. He resided in Los Angeles and passed away in May of 1998.

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The Night Bird Cantata 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
MWgal More than 1 year ago
Incredibly sad, but so lyrical & beautifully written. Heartfelt. Would like to read more of his work now that I've read this. Was this autobiographical, does anyone know? Touching.