Along with his siblings, Raphael Hardin left his childhood home in rural Kentucky. Grappling with an AIDS diagnosis, he returns to care for his dying father. Told from the perspectives of Raphael, his family, and their lifelong neighbor, Fenton Johnson's landmark novel reveals the blood struggles and binding loves of a broken family made whole.
Make no mistake: Martha Bragg Picket is a headstrong southern woman with a rebellious spirit, a characteristic her son Michael shares. Yet to see her after almost twenty years of marriage, it might no longer seem clear. A Yankee contractor's arrival in town catalyzes her dissatisfaction, leading her to turn her life upside down - unaware that her son will follow suit. Both heartfelt and shrewdly humorous, this widely acclaimed first novel from author Fenton Johnson is an affecting look at one woman's reawakening and her son's coming of age in the heartland of America.
Having taken great risks - to immigrate to America, to take monastic vows - Bengali physician Meena Chatterjee and Brother Flavian are each seeking safety and security when they encounter Johnny Faye, a Vietnam vet, free spirit, and expert marijuana farmer. Amid the fields and forests of a Trappist monastery, Johnny Faye patiently cultivates Meena's and Flavian's capacity for faith, transforming all they thought they knew about duty and desire. In turn they offer him an experience of civilization other than war and chaos. But Johnny Faye's law-breaking sets him against a district attorney for whom the law is a tool for ambition rather than justice. Their confrontation leads to a harrowing reckoning that ensnares Dr. Chatterjee and Brother Flavian, who must make a life-or-death choice between an act of justice that may precipitate their ruin or a betrayal that offers salvation. Inspired by the real-life state police kidnapping and murder of a legendary storyteller and petty criminal, The Man Who Loved Birds engages pressing contemporary issues through a timeless narrative of ill-fated romance. Celebrated author Fenton Johnson has woven a seamless, haunting fable exploring the eternal conflicts between free will and destiny, politics and nature, the power of law and the power of love.