NIGHT BIRD CANTATA
Pub Date: 1998
Format: Hardcover and Trade
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)
it on Amazon
"Brutally gorgeous, triumphantly lyrical, and unmistakably
brilliant. Donald Rawley makes myth of our contemporary lives."
"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)
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)
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
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.
Rights: Contact Lukeman