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Providence of a Sparrow


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About the Author

Chris Chester is an electronics technician and writer. He lives in Portland, Oregon.


In this heartfelt, warm, and entertaining memoir, Chester describes in minute detail the changes that a tiny English sparrow has imposed on his living quarters, his daily routine, and, most significantly, his emotional life. Found as a featherless baby that looked like "a testicle with a beak attached," the sparrow is named "B." Quickly, the daily routines of Chester and his wife come to revolve around their new roommate and two subsequent boarders, bonded male finches. Their upstairs floor is turned into an aviary, and the couple often plays sparrow games. Chester's turns of phrase are colorful, humorous, and memorable, as when he describes the relationship of the sparrows as an example of "homofinchiality." Highly literate and filled with personal ruminations, avian research, and literary allusions, Chester's writing style sets this book apart from other animal memoirs and recommends it for an audience with above average reading skills. Suitable for large public libraries and academic libraries with natural history or animal behavior collections.-Cleo Pappas, La Grange Memorial Hosp. Lib., IL Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

"A wonderfully literate, oddball meditation on life and the power of rich friendships with small birds." --Los Angeles Times "A story charmingly told, sprinkled with scientific information on birds, philosophical meanderings, the friendship that forms between human and avian . . . as mesmerizing as a bunch of feathers and dark eyes alighting in your hand." --The Sunday Oregonian "I never imagined that one of the most illuminating books about birds would focus on the lowly house sparrow! I envy Chester for writing so beautifully, for being so funny while having such insight into the human as well as the bird condition, and for conducting such a fascinating and fulfilling love affair--who cares if it is with a bird!" --Marie Winn, author of Red-Tails in Love "Frank, humorous and often surprisingly insightful. . . . Chester's affectionate description . . . reads like an Ornithology 101 course delivered . . . by a boy completely smitten with a new best friend." --The Seattle Times "Literate, eclectic, mildly eccentric, witty, and marvelous. . . . Reading a book in which the author delights in nature is itself a delight." --Salt Lake Tribune "Chester offers us a curiosity, a contemplation, a substantive diversion into the providence of a remarkable creature named B. If Thoreau had not gone to the woods, but had instead invited a sparrow into his house, he might have written this book instead of Walden." --Ron Carlson, author of At the Jim Bridger: Stories "Heartfelt, warm, and entertaining. . . . Highly literate and filled with personal ruminations, avian research, and literary allusions, Chester's writing style sets this book apart from other animal memoirs." --Library Journal

"A charming and touching memoir, a welcome addition to the venerable literature treating the love between animals and people. . . . Will appeal to even the skeptical non-bird lover." --Alison Baker, author of Loving Wanda Beaver: Novella and Stories "Highly astute and humorous. . . . Filled with literary, historical, and scientific allusions, each so well-placed and -timed that one wonders at the author's encyclopedic mind." --Missoula Independent "Chris is a role model to be emulated by others who work with birds. . . . His extraordinary sensitivity to a few common captive sparrows reveals how much we humans can learn about the needs and the actions of our feathered friends. The book is a delight." --George Archibald, Co-founder of the International Crane Foundation

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