Sadly I wrote a big review of this book and wordpress dissolved it into thin air as soon as I pressed “publish.” Bummer.
This comic is about Annah, and told through the eyes of people/animals who regularly interact with her. She’s described as a confused bisexual tease with some lovable quirks. Annah never gets to speak for herself, which is honestly a little too “male gaze-y” for my taste, and there’s some kind of weird management of the subject of mental health which was kind of uncomfortable.
But the story remains interesting and unique, and the illustrations are adorable. Especially “Pidgy” the pigeon. I’d read an entire book about Pidgy.
find a copy here
I totally bought this one because I typically really like Michelle Tea’s writing and I’d heard that pigeons were involved.
I’m happy with my purchase. The book itself is beautifully bound (in that classic McSweeney’s way, but with lots of pigeons too embossed on the cover too), and the story itself is comprised of the awesome writing style that Tea is known for (she can write a nasty old creek from a forgettable sludge pit up to a fucking rockstar of dangerous mystery and intrigue), as well as a story with elements that I haven’t read anywhere else.
The general shape of the story is outcast girl in a no-good town finds out that she’s sorta magical and just might have to save humanity or something. There’s a lot of this these days (yay for strong young female characters, you know), but Tea takes it to a totally different level. There’s Polish-ness and teenage hijinks and androgyny and a dirty town and general dirtiness and PIGEONS. That Talk. Furthermore, the magic in Mermaid in Chelsea Creek is unlike the magic in other YA girl-saves-humanity-type books. The end is a bit of a cliffhanger, and I’m bummed that I have to wait until next year for the sequel. . .
Book Review: Pigeons : the fascinating saga of the world’s most revered and reviled bird by Andrew D Blechman
The pigeon is, without a doubt, my favorite animal.
They’re such serious urban survivors! They’re happy to live off of trash– and are stubborn enough to forge ahead with their little pigeon lives even when they, for example, have a broken wing or are missing a foot.
Pigeons will enlighten you to many angles of the pigeon in our world today. The relatively brief (<250 pages) text covers pigeon fanciers, pigeon breeders, pigeon “pest control,” pigeon war history, pigeon shooters, pigeon eating, and more. The nonfiction writing style is approachable and flowing — the author is a journalist, after all. The author’s respect for my favorite animal was maintained through most of the narrative (except for when he shot one at an illicit pigeon shoot and later ate some bites of squab at the squab factory farm).
I have some concern about the absence of citations in the book– an awful lot of facts are given without sources. They’re really juicy quotable facts, too; and now if I choose to quote them I’ll have to double check them with my own research first. It seems that footnotes or endnotes could have saved me this effort (surely the author collected this information in the course of his research?)
Find a copy at the library!