Recent Studies Indicate: The Best of Sarah Bird

Sarah Bird. Univ. of Texas, $18.95 trade paper (264p) ISBN 978-1-4773-1868-3
Reading this career-spanning collection of quick-witted essays from novelist and essayist Bird (Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen) feels much like spending time with a curious, energetic, and enthusiastic friend. Most selections are grounded in Bird’s personal life, such as her experience of moving to and then adopting Texas as her home. One piece explains, “I moved here [from Albuquerque] in 1973 for love,” and another recounts her educational prejudices “as a Texas mom”: one should send a child to the University of Texas for a “world-class education,” and to Texas A&M “if you wanted him to have unnatural congress with barnyard animals.” Bird writes with a folksy, familiar style, yet at the same time her stories convey sophistication. Published 40 years ago, “A Question of Gender” remains timely in its profile of a trans woman, while “Meat, My Maker” recounts Bird’s forays into the film industry, writing an “exceedingly mediocre movie,” and accompanying Meat Loaf to an awards show, breezily declaring, “Hollywood experiences ran off me without soaking into my psychic water table.” These essays are a pleasure; Bird makes her readers feel smart, urbane, and in on the joke, and that their own stories are worth sharing, too. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 01/03/2019
Release date: 04/01/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
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