By Mary McCarthy
A poignant and evocative novel of self-discovery that follows a tender guy in the US and overseas, on a trip into maturity in the course of the turbulent 1960s
It is 1964, and Peter Levi, a tender scholar and fowl watcher, has come to Paris to check on the Sorbonne. Shy and blameless at nineteen years previous, he arrives clean from a longer Maine vacation along with his vivacious mom, and is decided to reside a existence freed from undesirable issues and pointless tension. yet this is often an period of serious switch on this planet, a time whilst warfare is looming in Southeast Asia and social unrest is simmering. there's a lot to bother and confuse the younger American as he trips via overseas countries—and feelings—into maturity. For Peter, the simplicity of youth is over—and his new lifestyles is changing into more and more advanced in a global becoming extra unrecognizable via the day.
Mary McCarthy’s splendid Birds of America is a relocating and superb coming-of-age story: the unforgettable tale of a tender man’s awakening, and a gorgeous evocation of the disorienting switch of the Nineteen Sixties.
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Additional info for Birds of America: A Novel
There's hope for you yet, Bessie," he said. "Well, if I can't get Buddy on the phone, and even you won't help, I'm going to have to do something," Mrs. Glass said. Looking vastly troubled, she sat smoking for a long moment. Then: "If it was something strictly Catholic, or like that, I might be able to help her myself. I haven't forgotten everything. But none of you children were brought up as Catholics, and I really don't see—" Zooey cut her short. "You're off," he said, turning his lathered face toward her.
Glass interrupted, but cautiously. Zooey put a hand on each side of the washbowl and leaned his chest forward a trifle, his eyes on the general background of enamel. For all his slightness of body, he looked at that moment ready and able to push the washbowl straight through the floor. "The Four Great Vows," he said, and, with rancor, closed his eyes. ' Yay, team. I know I can do it. " His eyes stayed closed. "My God, I've been mumbling that under my breath three meals a day every day of my life since I was ten.
Glass seemed on the point of being diverted by Zooey's method of dealing with problems, but it was her day to suppress all forms of amusement. She stared at him for a moment, and then, slowly, a new look gathered in her eyes—resourceful, crafty, and a trifle desperate. "You know, I'm not as stupid as you may think, young man," she said. "You're all so secretive, all you children. " For emphasis, lips compressed, she brushed some imaginary tobacco flakes from the lap of her kimono. " Zooey turned and glanced at her.