About this item

A gorgeous, witty account of birding, nature, and the beauty around us that hides in plain sight, written and illustrated by the best-selling author of The Joy Luck Club * With a foreword by David Allen Sibley. "Unexpected and spectacular" - Ann Patchett, best-selling author of These Precious Days. "The drawings and essays in this book do a lot more than just describe the birds. They carry a sense of discovery through observation and drawing, suggest the layers of patterns in the natural world, and emphasize a deep personal connection between the watcher and the watched. The birds that inhabit Amy Tan's backyard seem a lot like the characters in her novels." - David Allen Sibley, from the forewordTracking the natural beauty that surrounds us, The Backyard Bird Chronicles maps the passage of time through daily entries, thoughtful questions, and beautiful original sketches.

About the Author

Amy Tan

Amy Tan (Chinese: ???; pinyin: Tán ?nm?i; born February 19, 1952) is an American writer whose novels include The Joy Luck Club, The Kitchen God's Wife, The Hundred Secret Senses, The Bonesetter's Daughter, Saving Fish From Drowing, and The Valley of Amazement. She is the author of two memoirs, The Opposite of Fate and Where the Past Begins. Her two children's books are The Chinese Siamese Cat and The Moon Lady. She is also the co-screenwriter of the film adaptation of The Joy Luck, the librettist of the opera The Bonesetter's Daughter, and the creative consultant to the PBS animated series Sagwa the Chinese Chinese Cat. Tan is an instructor with MasterClass on writing, memory and imagination. She is featured in the American Masters documentary Amy Tan: Unintended Memoir. She was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters and recently received the National Humanities Medal. She serves on the board of American Bird Conservancy. Her forthcoming book The Backyard Bird Chronicles began as a journal in 2016, when she turned to nature for calm. She also began taking drawing classes with John Muir Laws (The Laws Guide to Nature Journaling and Drawing, and The Laws Guide to Drawing Birds) . During the pandemic shutdown, she drew birds only in her backyard, documenting behaviors she found puzzling. Over time she identified 64 species of birds that have visited her backyard in Marin County. By 2022, she had more than nine journals of sketches and notes, which her editor at Knopf suggested she publish. The book, which will be released in April 2024, has already received high praise: "Much of great writing comes from great interest, and in The Backyard Bird Chronicles, Amy Tan shows us how the world fascinates her, especially the birds. The result is both unexpected and spectacular. " - Ann Patchett, author of These Precious Days "What an enchanting and illuminating book! How lucky for us that Amy Tan has turned her genius, her deep empathy and insight, her keen eye for what is telling, to birds. Every page of these chronicles radiates warm curiosity, wonder, and delight. " - Jennifer Ackerman, The Genius of Birds"This is one of the most infectious and convincing books about nature I've read. For the bird-watcher, the would-be bird-watcher, or for the bird-watching skeptic, this offers great delight and unexpected intrigue. Through Tan's ecstatic eyes, what could be a dry treatise on ornithological happenings becomes something far more fun and much more profound. It's really a book about seeing." - Dave Eggers, author of Ungrateful Mammals"Anybody even mildly interested in birds, or thinking about getting interested in birds (which are, after all, the indicator genus for the health of the planet) , will want this book perched on their shelf, if only for the gift of Amy Tan's eye and the example she gives us of how to pay attention. What a treasure." - Robert Ha

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