BIRDS OF PARADISE

Diana Abu-Jaber

A multilayered, beautifully textured novel about family and self, self-indulgence and generosity, against the vivid backdrop of contemporary Miami.

In the tropical paradise that is Miami, Avis and Brian Muir are still haunted by the disappearance of their ineffably beautiful daughter, Felice, who ran away when she was thirteen. Now, after five years of modeling tattoos, skateboarding, clubbing, and sleeping in a squat house or on the beach, Felice is about to turn eighteen. Her family-Avis, an exquisitely talented pastry chef; Brian, a corporate real estate attorney; and her brother, Stanley, the proprietor of Freshly Grown, a trendy food market-will each be forced to confront their anguish,

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A multilayered, beautifully textured novel about family and self, self-indulgence and generosity, against the vivid backdrop of contemporary Miami.

In the tropical paradise that is Miami, Avis and Brian Muir are still haunted by the disappearance of their ineffably beautiful daughter, Felice, who ran away when she was thirteen. Now, after five years of modeling tattoos, skateboarding, clubbing, and sleeping in a squat house or on the beach, Felice is about to turn eighteen. Her family-Avis, an exquisitely talented pastry chef; Brian, a corporate real estate attorney; and her brother, Stanley, the proprietor of Freshly Grown, a trendy food market-will each be forced to confront their anguish, loss, and sense of betrayal. Meanwhile, Felice must reckon with the guilty secret that drove her away, and must face her fear of losing her family and her sense of self forever.

This multilayered novel about a family that comes apart at the seams-and finds its way together again-is totally involving and deeply satisfying, a glorious feast of a book.

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  • W.W. Norton & Company
  • Hardcover
  • September 2011
  • 362 Pages
  • 9780393064612

Buy the Book

$25.95

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About Diana Abu-Jaber

Diana Abu-Jaber is the author of Origin, Crescent, Arabian Jazz, The Language of Baklava, and Birds of Paradise. She has won the PEN/Hemingway Award, the American Book Award, and other prizes. Her writing appears in Good Housekeeping, Ms., Salon, Vogue, Gourmet, The New York Times, The Nation, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. She is frequently featured on National Public Radio. She divides her time between Coral Gables, Florida, and Portland, Oregon.

Praise

“Abu-Jaber makes us wonder about more that what will happen to one girl with a guilty secret. What, after all, does it mean to be a family? Is love really ‘exchangeable, malleable’? We can’t help turning pages full of stunning prose to find out.”Sarah Nelson, O Magazine

“The Muirs’ absorbing story builds to a thoroughly satisfying climax.“—Sue Corbett, People Magazine

“Diana Abu-Jaber’s gorgeous novel explores the ways a modern family can break down and be reborn. She writes with a precise, almost poetic distillation of feeling, heightened in contrast to the ripe, exuberant landscape and the unsettled feelings of a family in limbo.”Amy Driscoll, Miami Herald

With Birds of Paradise, Abu-Jaber has made an amazing, gigantic leap into rare air, that hazy stratosphere we jokingly call The Big Time. Her novel is that worthy, and that beautiful.“—Christine Selk, The Oregonian