Accidental Birds of the Carolinas


PRESS 53, 2011

PEN/Hemingway Honorable Mention
Novello Literary Award Finalist
Perpetual Folly’s 2011 Best Story Collection of the Year and SIBA Nominee, Best Short Fiction

In Hudson’s fictional Ambler County, some of the characters know each other well, some drive by and wave, and some pass unaware they are connected by place and time. Hudson has captured the moment when rural life was still dominant in the Carolinas and able to charm a stranger into staying. Like birds blown off course in a storm, landing in an unfamiliar country, the characters in these stories need a place to roost, somewhere to settle long enough to learn the secrets of their own hearts.

Praise for Accidental Birds

“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 

“Like novels in nutshells, Alice Munro style”— Doris Betts, author of Beasts of the Southern Wild 

“Magical scenes, magical effects, vivid dreams, mysterious events. 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 connect to the natural world for healing and solace.”
— Deirdre Parker Smith, Salisbury Post 

“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 call, its natural music.” — Susan Ketchin, author of The Christ-Haunted Landscape: Faith and Doubt in Southern Fiction 

“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.” — Dawn Raffel, author of Further Adventures in the Restless Universe,  former fiction editor of OMagazine

“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 Souls Raised from the Dead

“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

“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

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