Dreambirds : The Strange History of the Ostrich in Fashion, Food, and Fortune

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Trade Book
  • Copyright: 2000-03-01
  • Publisher: Picador

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


The ostrich is one of nature's misfits: a gigantic bird that can neither fly nor sing. But the fin-de-siecle fetish for feathers made ostrich plumes more precious than gold. Rob Nixon grew up near the South African desert where ostriches first boomed, and had an early passion for the outsize bird. Later, his rejection of apartheid led him to immigrate to the United States, where he encountered a new wave of ostrich mania: American ranchers were trying to convert the gawky bird into a low-cal cuisine. Part memoir, part travelogue, "Dreambirds is a natural history of a fantasy and a beautifully crafted, candid revelation of a man's soul.

Author Biography

Rob Nixon is the Rachel Carson Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin.

Table of Contents

"The book does what the awkward bird Nixon clearly loves cannot: it soars."--The New Yorker

"Witty and informative...there are plenty of characters in Nixon's book who can hold their own against [the ostrich's] flamboyance."--Alida Becker, The New York Times Book Review

"Dreambirds is a remarkable odyssey across continents. it is an ornithological delight, a rich and humorous travel book, but most of all a paean from a son to a father."--The Times (London)

"A hard book to categorize, but nearly impossible to put down."--Booklist (starred)

"Magical...tantalizing...Who would have suspected that ostriches could provide the ballast for such a moving memoir?"--Publishers Weekly (starred)

"Dramatic and spellbinding."--Christian Science Monitor

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