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A town called Oudtshoorn, near where he grew up, was, before WWI, the capital of the worldwide ostrich feather industry. One person found this helpful. See all 8 reviews. Please try again later. Amazon Inspire Digital Educational Resources.

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We run into the bird at the ostrich races in Chandler, Arizona and again at various ranches throughout the Southwest.

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Amazon Second Chance Pass it on, trade it in, give it a drfambirds life. Amazon Rapids Fun stories for kids on the go. A town called Oudtshoorn, near where he grew dreambirdx, was, before WWI, the capital of the worldwide ostrich feather industry. You don’t need to know much more than the biological name of the common ostrich to know that this is a weird bird.

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One person found this helpful. Rob Nixon’s Dreambirds is the journey reminiscent of perhaps our finest writers today–of Naipaul, Rushdie, W. Get to Know Hf. Explores the societies that have pinned hopes for wealth on the feathers and meat of the ostrich, from South Africa’s Karoo Desert to the modern American west, and discusses the passions and politics surrounding the bird. There too Nixon finds that dreambrids pioneer spirit of the American West is alive and well and not all that different from that of what he remembers from back home.


Nixon’s memoir is held together by the story of the ostrich, the dreambird, which attracted flocks of pioneers to South Africa’s Karoo desert region hoping to make their fortunes on the feathers of this mysterious remnant from prehistoric times.

In his restrained prose, one feels the ever present weight of South Africa’s troubled double world of black and white, a world Nixon knows he can never escape. Obviously the ornithologists who discovered the bird were confused about it; as confused, perhaps as the ostrich sometimes looks with it’s blank, non-blinking stare.

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Alexa Actionable Analytics for the Web. Written in a meditative and at times even dreamlike prose, Nixon introduces us to his family, like him, keen observers of the natural world of Derambirds Africa, which becomes for them a means to identify with a land and culture far removed from their Northern European roots.

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The book is a more a biography, and the ostrich is the common theme, the link between Nixons early youth in South Africa and his adult life in his adopted home – the US. This is all rather unkind, and in fact, unfair to the ostrich. Please try again later. Share your thoughts with other customers. See all 8 reviews. English Choose a language for shopping.

This consciousness of the racial divide of his people seeps into nearly every encounter and story, and it’s Nixon’s gift that he never has to directly speak about what it must feel like to carry the weight of remorse of South Africa’s colonial past. Get fast, free shipping with Amazon Prime. If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?


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B Sebald and others– exiles who float between past and drea,birds, continent to continent, yet writing as if they have never truly left the childhood landscapes lost to them in the political, cultural and economic upheavals of the modern world. Dreambircs Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor.

Amazon Inspire Digital Educational Resources. The ostrich is in fact remarkably well adapted to it’s environment – the savannas of Eastern and Southern Africa, and has had a close association with man for the better part of a century, providing us with food and making fortunes for us. Write a customer review. He doesn’t have to because it is obvious in the choices he makes to weave into his narrative the stories of ostrich ranchers and political activists which he goes to great lengths to balance with that of his own poetic self-examination.

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There are some interesting characters involved in the ostrich business. After living for a few years in New York, a place Nixon describes as ironically forgiving for emigrants like him, he takes a trip to Arizona to do some travel writing and discovers to his surprise the similarities of the Sonoran Desert to that of his Karoo. Amazon Music Stream millions of songs.