Kate Bernheimer

Horse, Flower, Bird

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An imaginative, hauntingly poetic collection of contemporary fables that redefine the fairy tale for the modern woman.
In Kate Bernheimer’s familiar and spare—yet wondrous—world, an exotic dancer builds her own cage, a wife tends a secret basement menagerie, a fishmonger’s daughter befriends a tulip bulb, and sisters explore cycles of love and violence by reenacting scenes from Star Wars.
Enthralling, subtle, and poetic, this collection of eight tales takes readers back to the age-old pleasures of classic fairy tales and makes them new. Their haunting lessons are an evocative reminder that cracking open the door to the imagination is no mere child’s play, and that delight and tragedy lurk in every corner.
“Each of these spare and elegant tales rings like a bell in your head. memorable, original, and not much like anything you’ve read.” —Karen Joy Fowler
“These stories are the product of a vivid imagination and crafty manipulation by their skillful creator.” —Publishers Weekly
“A strange and enchanting book, written in crisp, winning sentences; each story begs to be read aloud and savored.” —Aimee Bender
Horse, Flower, Bird rests uneasily between the intersection of fantasy and reality, dreaming and wakefulness, and the sacred and profane. Like a series of beautiful but troubling dreams, this book will linger long in the memory. Kate Bernheimer is reinventing the fairy tale.” —Peter Buck, R.E.M.
“Quirky, twisted. . . . Quietly unhinged narratives by an author who reinvents the fairy tale.” —Kirkus Reviews
“[Bernheimer’s] strangely moving stories, such as the eight collected in Horse, Flower, Bird, combine fantasy with deep wisdom; the illustrations by Rikki Ducornet are an added delight.” —Reader’s Digest
“Imaginative. . . . Lean and lyrical writing. . . . Bernheimer’s passion for fairy tales is evident in every story she spins.” —Library Journal
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Coffee House Press



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