by Rebecca K O'Connor (Memoir by)


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781597094603
Publisher: Red Hen Press
Publication date: 11/01/2009
Edition description: 1
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Rebecca K. O’Connor had published essays in South Dakota Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, Los Angeles Times Magazine, West, divide, and was a Pushcart Nominee for the 2008 Prize. Her novel, Falcon’s Return was a Holt Medallion Finalist for best first novel and she has published numerous reference books on the natural world. She has an MFA in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts from the University of California, Riverside.

     As a professional animal trainer, O’Connor has worked with a variety of exotic animals in zoos and private facilities around the United States and abroad. She has been a falconer for more than a decade and is a nationally known parrot behaviorist. Her book A Parrot for Life: Raising and Training the Perfect Parrot Companion was published in 2007 by TFH and went into a second printing in the first six months. She is also a nationally sought after lecturer at parrot clubs and parrot festivals.

     In all of O'Connor’s work she strives to illuminate or foil the human condition through the animals that surround us. Whether it is to give a science-based lecture, write a serious how-to book or crafting deeply personal prose, the foundation of everything in her life is a love for animals. She hopes that her life’s work will help people understand the animals (including other humans) that surround them and relish their relationships.

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Lift 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
monarchi on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Lift is a memoir chronicling the year author/falconer Rebecca O'Connor decides to take on the task of training a peregrine falcon. She manages to convey the beauty and thrill of falconry, and some of its recent history, without putting off a vegetarian like myself. This is an ode to the natural areas of Southern California, and to the tenacity of creatures both large and small.O'Connor uses flashbacks and memories unobtrusively to give us a well-rounded image of her character, and we see her subtly grow and change over the course of the book. I particularly enjoyed how navigating her relationship with the falcon seems to help other facets of her life fall into place.This is not an exceptional book, but it is pleasant and, at times, gripping. I would certainly recommend it to anyone who is not put off by the occasional graphic hunting scene. Overall, a good beach read or for a winter afternoon when you need a taste of summer.
allenkl on LibraryThing 7 months ago
This is a a well written and interesting book. I have a long time interest in birds but had no previous knowledge of falconry. Rebecca O'Connor tells a tale that is highly educational and thought provoking. Her deep respect for the natural world shines brightly through her story.Three stories are interwoven; her personal journey training a peregrine falcon, her relationship with her long absent mother and her romance. The three story lines become quickly absorbing.The author has created that joy of joys, a well told story that is simply good literature. I look forward to more of her work. This is a fine book and a pleasure to read.
whitreidtan on LibraryThing 7 months ago
What do you think of when you think of falconry? In my head I seen medieval knights atop warhorses with a raptor perched majestically on their chain mail clad arm. Obviously I have wild imagination issues. (Did people ever hunt with falcons from horseback? Probably not.) But even with my overactive imagination, I never really considered that people still practice falconry today. They do though, and author Rebecca O'Connor has written a beautiful memoir weaving falconry with her life.The prologue opens with O'Connor and her peregrine out on a hunt. The falcon has injured a duck and O'Connor knows that she should put the duck out of its misery, as other professionals do, but she finds herself incapable of the quick, merciful pulling out of the duck's heart, wondering instead just who exactly she in relation to to this quick and impressive falcon, master, partner, or servant. From this somewhat grisly but introspective beginning, O'Connor peers into the very heart of her life, her love of birds, and the seductive appeal of the centuries old art of falconry.Intertwined with the story of buying and training a peregrine, an act equal parts skill, luck, and trust, is the story of O'Connor's life with her falconer boyfriend, her somehwat estranged mother, and the grandfather who introduced her to and fostered her love of birds. While the chapters on the raising and training of Anakin were fascinating, the portions where O'Connor reflects on how her life is wrapped up in the majesty and religious experience of hunting with her bird are equally appealing. She has woven the threads of her life and relationships skillfully around and through the story of the frustrating and magnificent bird. Her descriptions of the natural world, the nature of prey and predator, and the delicate balance that exists between us all, human and animal, are lush and vivid, evocative and elusive, thoughtful and startlingly insightful.It was lovely to be let into the world of this slight memoir and to examine the arc of relationships through the world of falconry. O'Connor's choice of working in concert with Anakin seems to mirror her own conscious choice to build a relationship with her mother. And although this metaphor could seem forced, it doesn't. It simply works and works beautifully. The writing is lyrical and yet somehow spare at the same time. The revealing nature of O'Connor's struggles with training Anakin let the reader into her life and head and also cause much self-reflection as well. This hypnotic glimpse into an ancient pastime will entrance more than just the falconry community. It should please anyone interested in memoirs.Thanks to author Rebecca O'Connor for sending me a copy of the book for review.
frozencapybara on LibraryThing 7 months ago
I received this book as part of the Early Reviewer program. It was good and worth reading, but I was never quite sure if the author meant it to be a memoir of her childhood or about falconry - it might have been better had she chosen one or the other. The falconry portion was quite interesting, though.
Taphophile13 on LibraryThing 7 months ago
I wanted to like this book about a young woman and her peregrine falcon but I was unable to do so. O'Connor mentions several times that she has no idea what the bird is thinking or feeling and that appears to be true. She seems to have very little insight into the bird's world. He often flies off seeking to be the free animal he was born to be and she must track him by the GPS responder attached to his tail. There does not seem to be any connection between them. Even more off-putting are the revelations of the difficult life she has led. Most of the people she deals with, parents, grandparents, even strangers, seem an unpleasant bunch at best. While it is admirable that she has overcome such a background, it does not make for comfortable reading.
LynnCoulter on LibraryThing 7 months ago
I was eager to read this book because I have a female friend who is a falconer and rehabilitator of wild birds, so I already had a little insight into their care. O'Connor does a good job of revealing that this legendary "sport of kings" is not what most people think it is. Most of us begin by envisioning falconry as something regal and elegant, with falcons sitting serenely on the arms of men and women dressed in medieval garb--it's a romantic vision that doesn't include the reality of training these independent, fierce hunting birds with raw meat; treating their avian illness and injuries, and so forth. I've talked to falconers who admit that they are reluctant to tell people what they do, because too many of them want to get into the sport for its romantic appeal, and don't understand the rigorous education and apprenticeship that must come first. O'Connor deserves thanks for sharing a close-up look at what is really involved, and for sharing this memoir of her life with a truly wild creature.
tedebear1998 on LibraryThing 7 months ago
I received this book as part of the early reviewer's program. For me this was a great book. I got hooked reading about the author's writing about her life, past and present, interweaved with the challange of training a falcon. I certainly found out a lot about ducks which the falcon was being trained to hunt.
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ladyhawke28 More than 1 year ago
You don't have to be a fellow falconer to enjoy O'Connor's memoir. Although I'm an apprentice and understood a lot of what she describes in the book she explains the sport so anyone can understand and enjoy the descriptions of the sport. I really liked the writing style and when she jumps from writing about a childhood memory and ties it back into the present with her falconry, it all flows together perfectly. I was able to picture every hunt she described and could feel her frustration every time she lost her bird and had to track him. I wish I didn't have anything negative to say but there was one thing and it had nothing to do with the author or her writing. The editing was absolutely horrible. Not quite sure how a publishing company can put out a book that is going for almost $20 and then forget to add words to a sentence or repeat the same word 2 times in a sentence like "I will will".... Not sure who edited the book but they should be fired. But worth the read nonetheless. I am going to look for the other novel by this author "falcon's return".