bird in the snow

Bird in the Snow

By: Michael Harding

(3 customer reviews)


“Harding’s writing – supple, troubled, utterly modern – commences where the traditional Irish short story dropped from enervation and where Joyce, Beckett and Myles left off.” – Books Ireland

Bird in the Snow follows twenty-four hours in the life of Birdie Waters. On the eve of burying her only son, she stays awake all night, examining old photographs, cherishing memories of Gussie and her beloved late husband, Alex – a vet who married her because her dancing ability eclipsed the class difference between them. She recalls Gussie’s tragic death, his failed romance, and Louise, who for a while looked like the partner that might make her son happy. She remembers Hughie Donoghue, a flute player whom she has known since her marriage, and for whom she still feels intense but unspoken affection.

When the funeral is over, and the mourners have all dined in the local hotel, she returns alone to her house, where each day is a kind of triumph, because she has survived a little longer. Bird in the Snow is the story of an old woman whose ordinary life is full of drama, love and passion, though perhaps nobody knows it but herself, because only she remembers everything. This delicately rendered narrative evokes the rural past of Birdie’s life in the Irish midlands, using memory to redress her bereavement through a series of poignant vignettes that crystallize into a powerful act of retrieval.

Also available as an ebook

3 reviews for Bird in the Snow

  1. Lilliput Press

    “M Harding’s Bird in the Snow is a wonderful meditation on the vunerability of humanity. Birdie Gallagher, the novel’s focus, is like the mother of all humanity, eliciting love and frustration from us, in return for compassion and understanding. The story is brimming with a beautiful poetic paradox. One doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry and in fact, often, both are wrung from us in the same sentence. In this novel I got a wee glimpse of an eternally fading Ireland.” WICKOVSKI

  2. Lilliput Press

    “I absolutely loved this. A triumph in clean, sparse writing. The sense of place and time as well as the aloneness of age is so well written. A beautiful piece of writing that held me from start to finished.” AOIFE KELLY

  3. Lilliput Press

    “Incredibly touching read, it brought me to tears at times. Michael Harding is such a talented writer, he has a great insight into the human psyche, especially women. I read a lot and this has to be in my top five favourite books ever. Brilliant!’ AOC

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978 184351 136 6
Weight 0.5 kg

October 2008


215×136, 197pp