"Rara Avis: How to Tell a True Bird Story"

I had an essay reviewed by "The Review Review," and I was happy with it, so I cut and pasted it here:

'Jackson Connor spices up the pastoral in his essay, “Rara Avis: How to Tell a True Bird Story.” He tells a fake one, sort of. Connor identifies bird species in rural Pennsylvania, where he grew up. But he also says that he can’t always tell one bird from another: “If I’m pressed…anything bigger than a sparrow is a red-tailed hawk, and anything smaller than a redtail is a sparrow.” Myth debunked: country boys always know the moods, flight patterns and names of every creature in the yard.

'Connor also flouts a second archetype: country boy so in tune with nature that he doesn’t have a cynical bone in his body. Connor presents something very different while recounting—and maybe embellishing—a scene from grade school. When his teacher asks the class to share family stories with a moral, Connor shares an anecdote from the Vietnam War. Seems his uncle Dewey parachuted into a Vietcong regiment after chugging bourbon in midair. When his teacher asks for the moral of the story, Connor says, “Don’t fuck with my uncle Dewey when he’s been drinking.”

'Cute little naturalists don’t talk like that, do they? Alas, Connor won’t make Oprah’s shortlist. He’s too irreverent, though highly entertaining.'

I posted the link to the page, if you're interested. And, since you asked, yes, "Rara Avis" was a notable essay in Best American Essays 2009.

Superspouse traci also had a piece reviewed by The Review Review. Her "Fat Man's Daughter," published in The Pinch was written up, but the link is broken just now, so we'll post that another time.

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