THE NIGHT BIRD CANTATA
by Donald Rawley

Publisher:  Avon Books/Bard

Pub Date:  1998 and 1999

Format
:   Hardcover and Trade Paperback

Brief Description
The first, brilliant novel of the late Donald Rawley, Pushcart Prize winner and contributor to New Yorker, Harpers and Story.   Tells the story of a young, gay boy's coming of age one summer in the arid, Southwestern United States.  Exquisitely written.
(see below for Full Description)

 

 

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Endorsements
"Brutally gorgeous, triumphantly lyrical, and unmistakably brilliant.  Donald Rawley makes myth of our contemporary lives."
--Kate Braverman

"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)

"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)

Reviews
"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


Full Description
Donald Rawley's remarkable writing has already graced the pages of The New Yorker, Harper's, and numerous other literary publications. In his debut novel, Rawley weaves his lush prose into a story of boyhood that is as arrestingly beautiful as it is devastating. Through the eyes of ten-year-old Lindsay Paul ("L.P.") Fowler--a hard, pretty and effeminate only child in a wealthy Arizona family--the reader relives the long, hot Southwestern summer of 1968; three months of days whose clarity is both perverse and frightening," L.P. remembers, "held without photographs or postcards or any other telling semblance to prove I existed, and that I survived. " Abandoned without warning by his self-involved mother and cruel, dictatorial grandmother, L.P. is sent off to spend a magical summer in the care of 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 who has a place in her heart for the troubled boy
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Foreign Sales
:   England (HarperCollins)

World Rights
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