Reviews

A sampling of reviews and links to reviews for Accidental Birds of the Carolinas:

“For any Southerner who’s ever wondered what it’s like to be a Yankee transplant, read Accidental Birds of the Carolinas… –  read more at North Carolina Literary Review Online, No. 21

“Hudson must believe in magic, and uses it in her writing, creating magical scenes, magical effects, vivid dreams, mysterious events,” says Deirdre Parker Smith of the Salisbury Post. “Birds sing through several stories, and by the end of the novella, there’s been a symphony of mockingbirds, whippoorwills, sparrows, frogs, dogs, bees, butterflies and more. Each lost soul connects to the natural world for healing and solace.”

“They arrived by Mustang, by marriage, by hitchhiking. The characters in Marjorie Hudson’s story collection, Accidental Birds of the Carolinas, have strayed — like vagrant birds — from familiar territory to reach a transfiguring moment in their lives. . . . Many of Hudson’s narratives explore themes of family — found, invented or inherited — navigating the often suffocating nature of belonging, or the catastrophes of reinvention.” — Kathryn Savage, Minneapolis-St. Paul Star-Tribune

“A wonderful book.” – D.G. Martin, NC Bookwatch, WUNC-TV

“A fiction writer of considerable craft– her interplay of personality, nature and fate brings Thomas Hardy to mind.”Ben Steelman, Wilmington Star-News

“Hudson’s understanding and compassion for the outsider, the one who struggles to fit in, is evident in each story. This is a finely wrought collection and I, for one, am glad Hudson calls North Carolina home.” – Anne Barnhill, The Pilot

“As the title story in Marjorie Hudson’s collection suggests, birds—whether caged accidentally or incidentally—populate each of her eight stories, marrying the transitory nature of the avian world to the lost souls who have found a haven in rural stretches of the Carolina landscape.”North Carolina Literary Review

“Marjorie Hudson skirts the edges of magical realism with her tales of outsiders ‘accidentally’ blown into the unfamiliar swirls and eddies of southern culture in its many forms. This is a tender and wild compilation that brings the reader into the unfolding rhythms of the unique cast of characters that people her stories.”Audrey Layden and Paul Nagy, Carolina Book Beat, WCOM Radio, Carrboro, NC

Here is a field guide to the human species in transition.  . . . The three longest of these splendid stories are like novels in nutshells, Alice Munro style.”  — Doris Betts, author of Beasts of the Southern Wild and Souls Raised from the Dead

These are truly great stories. Each voice is so distinct, each ‘bird’ so lost, so misplaced, so in need of someone to listen to its calls, its natural music.” — Susan Ketchin, author of The Christ-Haunted Landscape: Faith and Doubt in Southern Fiction

Marjorie Hudson writes movingly about a South we haven’t often seen in literature: the rich terrain occupied by people who, owing to desire, despair, or some combination of both, have migrated in search of that elusive thing called home. That is to say, she writes about us all.” — Dawn Raffel, former fiction editor, O Magazine

What the Independent Bookstores are Saying:

“Wow! This story collection marvelously captures “home” (the Southern part of heaven) for so many of us who have migrated to North Carolina from afar. You feel the morning mist, smell the pungent woods, and hear the sweet birdsong. What a love song sung by a variety of (human) birds—each with its distinct, pure voice. Marjorie Hudson is a writer I’ve been waiting to find! Bravo!” — Katherine Pinard, McIntyre’s Fine Books, Pittsboro, NC

“Extraordinary stories … Pay attention and you will fall in love. [Hudson’s]  characters are full of heart and soul, ones who will latch on to you and not let go.— Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC

One-On-One with D.G. Martin posted Jul 12 2011 11:13AM


Fiction tells the truth about North Carolina’s changing rural landscape

We have changed.

More urban. Less rural and farming.

At least that is what the latest Census is telling us.

But the story is more complicated. It is more interesting, too. Out in the formerly all-rural counties of our state, new kinds of residents have moved in. But lots of the old-time residents are still there.

How do fifth-generation farming families interact with back-to-the-land newcomers, suburbanite encroachers, and retirement community residents?

The census does not give us the answer.

Maybe the answer can be found best in fiction.

See the rest of the review

Praise for Accidental Birds of the Carolinas:

“In most of these stories, the outsiders have to find a way to bond with the customs of this strange Carolina country, where people wave at you whether they know you or not, and strangers will up and tell you their life stories (and expect you to tell yours). . . . Often, against all odds, the two sides find a way to connect.  . . . Hudson proves herself a fiction writer of considerable craft, and her interplay of personality, nature and fate brings Thomas Hardy to mind.”Ben Steelman, Wilmington Star-News

Accidental Birds of the Carolinas is a powerful and beautifully written story collection that will hold readers enthralled. Like the accidental birds of the title, these characters end up in places– geographically and emotionally–they never expected to be.  Marjorie Hudson is a very talented writer and she delivers these human migrations with great insight and wisdom, their journeys overlapping and echoing back in ways that leave the reader both heartbroken and uplifted.”
Jill McCorkle, author of  Going Away Shoes

“Hudson’s prose is pure as birdsong. Here is a field guide to the human species in transition.  . . . The three longest of these splendid stories are like novels in nutshells, Alice Munro style.”
Doris Betts, author of Beasts of the Southern Wild and Souls Raised from the Dead

“These are truly great stories. Each voice is so distinct, each ‘bird’ so lost, so misplaced, so in need of someone to listen to their calls, their natural music.” — Susan Ketchin, author of The Christ-Haunted Landscape: Faith and Doubt in Southern Fiction

“Marjorie Hudson writes movingly about a South we haven’t often seen in literature: the rich terrain occupied by people who, owing to desire, despair, or some combination of both, have migrated in search of that elusive thing called home. That is to say, she writes about us all.”
Dawn Raffel , author of Further Adventures in the Restless Universe, Editor of The Literarian at the Center for Fiction

2 Responses to Reviews

  1. I just finished Accidental Birds and will need to read it through again to soak up all the lush beauty. It felt so real I had to go wash the dirt out of my fingernails when I was done reading. Thank you, Marjorie, for these amazing characters and stories.
    Joy Phillips (One of the Black Mountain Writers)

    • Joy, I love that you are steeped in the stories! Thank you so much. I love to be read. If you care to spread the word, please send your recommendation to 5 friends who read. The pyramid scheme book tour! I’ll be back in the fall, hope to see you and the crew again! I really enjoyed your presence in our workshop.

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