Anita Barrows Presents "The Language of Birds"

Berkeley poet, psychologist and teacher ANITA BARROWS will read from and discuss her new novel, The Language of Birds, a story of two sisters dealing with family trauma in very different ways.

To attend this event, you must sign up on Eventbrite or register at the store due to seating limits.

Gracie is a serious, sensitive, aspiring writer; Jannie, her autistic younger sister, is passionate about birds. As children, they were taken by their mother on a senseless trip through Europe that ended in their mother's suicide. Now, in Berkeley, their father works tirelessly to find ways to engage Jannie, while Gracie--unwilling to reveal the truth about her mother's suicide or her sister's autism to anyone outside her family--weaves a web of lies around herself that isolate her even as Jannie, in part through her relationships with and understanding of birds, begins to speak, interact, and emerge.

Narrated by Gracie and alternating back and forth between 2002, when the sisters are still children/adolescents, and 2017, when they are in their early adulthood, The Language of Birds is a story of coming to understand what seems unfamiliar and indecipherable, and of finding authentic ways to be with the people you love. 

“In the pages of Anita Barrows’s luminous and layered novel, we meet characters etched by pain and loss, trapped in ways that seem to defy understanding. Yet through the profound empathy of this writer, we are also granted an intimate window into the subtle art of saving and being saved. What a deeply human and hopeful story.” —Elizabeth Rosner, author of The Speed of Light and Survivor Café: The Legacy of Trauma and the Labyrinth of Memory

Anita Barrows has received awards for her poetry from The National Endowment for the Arts, the Ragdale Foundation, the Dorland Mountain Arts Colony, the Robinson Jeffers Foundation, and publications by The Quarterly Review of Literature and the Riverstone Press. Her translations with Joanna Macy of Rilke’s poetry and prose have been widely quoted, set to music, and nominated for national awards. She has also done translations of novels, poetry, drama and non-fiction from French and Italian for British and American publishers.

With a PhD in psychology, Barrows teaches at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, California, and maintains an active private practice where she specializes in trauma and developmental disabilities in children, adolescents and adults. Barrows has long been an activist for social justice. She is a mother and a grandmother and lives in Berkeley with a menagerie of dogs, cats and birds.

Due to ongoing COVID concerns and customer safety considerations, we will be limiting the number of attendees at our in-store events. To that end, please note the following and thank you for your understanding.

THIS EVENT is free but pre-registration is required.

ATTENDANCE IS LIMITED to 40 people, chosen in order of registration date.

BECAUSE SEATING is limited, please register only if you plan to attend.

WE ARE NOT ABLE to accommodate any walk-ins that evening.

WE ASK that attendees arrive no later than 6:45pm for the event.

PROOF OF up-to-date vaccination and boosting will be required at the door, as will masking for attendees during the event.

Thursday, June 16, 2022 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Event address: 
Mrs. Dalloway's Bookstore
2904 College Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94705
The Language of Birds Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781647423575
Availability: Most titles are on our shelves or available within 1-5 days.
Published: She Writes Press - May 17th, 2022