The Birdcatcher

Gayl Jones


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Little, Brown Book Group
7 September 2023
ISBN: 9780349016863
224 pages

From the publisher


'A fascinating meditation on Black female creativity from the author of Corregidora and Palmares . . . Vivid characters shimmer through the pages' Suzi Feay, GUARDIAN

'I am living on the white-washed island of Ibiza with my friend Catherine Shuger, a sculptor who has been declared legally insane, and her husband, Ernest. Standing on the terrace, sheltered in the smell of oranges and eucalyptus, washed in sunlight, you'd swear this was a paradise. But to tell the truth the place is full of dangers. You see, Catherine sometimes tries to kill her husband. It has been this way for years . . . My name's Amanda Wordlaw. Wonderful name for a writer, isn't it? . . . I guess I'm sort of a choice companion for the Shugers - professional watcher and listener that I am. It's like they need someone else to witness the shit, the spectacle they make of themselves.'

'Gayl Jones constructs a novel that is part mystery, part thriller, and wholly captivating . . . Jones is an outstanding writer . . . A shining segment of the American literary canon has been restored' Kate Webb, TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT

'With the plush scenery of a travelogue, the misshapen soul of a noir and the anarchic spirit of a trickster tale, this novel revolves around three Black American expatriates . . . Catherine is suspicious of Amanda's intentions toward her husband, but, in Jones's fearsome, fractured narrative, her potential for violence seems no more alarming than anything else that might befall these social outsiders' NEW YORKER (Best books of 2022)