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Winter Birds: A Novel

Grimsley, Jim

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ISBN 10: 0684829916 / ISBN 13: 9780684829913
Published by Touchstone, 1997
Used Condition: Used: Very Good Soft cover
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VG- Mild cover wear. Mild aging to clean pages with tight binding. Bookseller Inventory # 1308300271

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Winter Birds: A Novel

Publisher: Touchstone

Publication Date: 1997

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:Used: Very Good

About this title


In Jim Grimsley's remarkable first novel, Winter Birds, Danny Crell tells himself his own story, and in doing so illuminates the heartbreaking story of his father's violent tyranny over his mother, his sister, and his three younger brothers. The novel begins on Thanksgiving in rural North Carolina in a broken-down cottage the Crell children have nicknamed "The Circle House." Ellen Crell's attempts at a family meal are thwarted and finally disastrously ruined when Bobjay draws her into a violent quarrel. It leads to a chase wherein Bobjay is the hunter, Ellen the prey, and their five children are caught in between. Winter Birds is a haunting, unforgettable portrait of an American family shattered by violence, and of the lengths a woman will go to keep her family whole.

About the Author:

Jim Grimsley Jim Grimsley was born in 1955 in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, and like his character, Danny Crell, moved around a lot with his family, following his father from job to job. In an essay about his writing, called "True Fiction," Grimsley says, "We were always poor, moving from house to house, with our every move the subject of discussion by our neighbors in the small farm community where we lived." Like Bobjay Crell in Winter Birds, Grimsley's father had lost his arm in a farm accident and was every bit as heavy and abusive a drinker as Bobjay. One night, in a drunken rage, he went so far as to light the family home on fire while they were all barricaded inside, against him. Even so, Grimsley has some compassion for his father."My father wasn't at all prepared to be married or to be a father," he says, "and to all of a sudden have children -- children with big problems. They were terribly in debt by the time I was five. . . . Father not only lost his arm, he lost his job after he'd already waived his right to file for any kind of insurance claim. The farmer did him dirty. So he had all that anger, and he's 23 or 24 and his life is already ruined. I feel really bad when I think of that side of him. He kept us fed, he didn't give up, but he could never stop being just furious. The only people he had any power over in his life were his family." Sadly, Grimsley's father later committed suicide. Grimsley went to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he studied creative writing. Around the time of his father's death, he began to write Winter Birds."I have vivid memories of my family, of the way we lived, and my writing feels very powerful when I am working out of this material," he says. "These memories are often very unpleasant and lead to stories that are cathartic to read, but hard to sell to publishers. But I think you really do see, in writers now

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