The Bird Artist

By Howard Norman,

Book cover of The Bird Artist

Book description

The story of Fabian Vas, who lives in Witless Bay, Newfoundland and who earns his living as a bird artist. However, it also emerges that he has murdered the lighthouse keeper, Botho August.

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Why read it?

2 authors picked The Bird Artist as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

The author presents a setting so stark, so isolated, so deprived of diverse demographic and cultural experiences that the reader experiences the characters as not so much shaped by the setting but as emerging from it. Communications among the residents of the tiny fishing village off the Newfoundland coast, Witless Bay, are spare and quirky and often misunderstood. An aggressive young female character, Margaret, elbows her way through it, and a passive male artist, Fabian, drifts into actions he regrets, yet the two fulfill one another. In paragraph one, Fabian confesses to murder, but this story is about psychological survival…

 I confess I have read Howard Norman's The Bird Artist, set in 1911, five times.  The narrator is Fabian Vas, who draws and paints the birds of Witless Bay, Newfoundland a wild and remote coastal village. 

At the start of the book, we learn that Fabian has murdered the village lighthouse keeper, Botho August. The story pulls the reader along as we follow the tantalizing story of romance, passion and betrayal in this remote and wondrous place.

From Patty's list on first-person perspectives.

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