Winter Birds

Winter Birds

by Jim Grimsley

NOOK Book(eBook)

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Winner of the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction. On a snowy Thanksgiving day in North Carolina, a dreamy eight-year-old is pushed headlong into the adult world by a violent quarrel between his parents. Jim Grimsley's brilliant first novel unfolds in a strikingly unconventional way--as the boy tells himself his own story. A shattering story of heartbreak, violence, and the endurance of the spirit. "Tell everyone."--Dorothy Allison, author of BASTARD OUT OF CAROLINA.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781616201593
Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Publication date: 02/13/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 250
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Jim Grimsley is the author of four previous novels, among them Winter Birds, a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award; Dream Boy, winner of the GLBTF Book Award for literature; My Drowning, a Lila-Wallace-Reader's Digest Writer's Award winner; and Comfort and Joy. He lives in Atlanta and teaches at Emory University.

Table of Contents

Reading Group Guide

1. In Winter Birds, Grimsley has created an omnipotent sense of the hunt. Analyze how Grimsley creates this extraordinary sense of pursuit.

2. Discuss the unconventional way in which Winter Birds unfolds -- I)anny telling his own story to himself. What does it bring to the narrative that a more conventional way of storytelling could not?

3. What does the title "Winter Birds" mean? Did you relate it to the opening scene in the book when the boys are shooting birds? What is the metaphor?

4. How does the hemophilia of Danny and Grove impact the story and ultimately raise the stakes?

5. The children have nicknamed the cottage they live in "The Circle House." What metaphor(s) does Grimsley draw from this system of rooms wherein doors open into one room, then into another, then into yet another? How is it especially significant when Bobjay ultimately manages to penetrate the house, despite all Ellen and the children have done to keep him out?

6. It is obvious that Bobjay is a cruel tyrant, terrorizing his family. Discuss the ways in which he is also a victim.

7. Danny watches his mother grow more and more distant as she hides from Bobjay under the house. Grimsley writes: "Maybe it has come to your Mama now: the knowledge that your Papa and her Daddy are the same man, that maybe the feeling your Papa first gave her was no more than that; maybe something in her made her pick Bobjay Crell because he was like the Daddy she had known all her life, and maybe the feeling was never love." How did this possibility affect you? Did you believe this to be true for Ellen? Discuss this psychological phenomenon.

8. When Bobjay kills Queenie and all her unborn pups, whoand what is he really killing, and why?

9. Why do you think Ellen lets Bobjay back into the house and hence, back into their lives that Thanksgiving night, after he has stalked her, hunted her down, and terrorized her children?

10. In the end of the novel, when Grimsley writes: "You are a little boy following your Mama across the field. The grave will be like a channel marker, and when you are there you will know that facts are your only friends." What does he mean? What lesson has Danny learned from his family's circumstances?

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Winter Birds 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You should read this people