Canadian

Birdie

The debut novel by Indigenous law professor Tracey Lindberg was a finalist for Canada Reads 2016.

Tracey Lindberg

Birdie follows a Cree woman known as Birdie on a modern-day quest from her home in northern Alberta to Gibsons, British Columbia, where she hopes to meet her teenage crush: Jesse from The Beachcombers. Birdie's troubled childhood has left her with inner demons, and her adventures take a dark turn, forcing her to find the strength to heal old wounds and build a new life. Informed by Cree lore, Birdie is a darkly comic novel about finding out who you are and where you're from.

Birdie was defended by Bruce Poon Tip on Canada Reads 2016.

Read an excerpt | Author interviews | More about this book

From the book

Maggie sits in the old tavern, amongst friends. The only spirits in the place, in the place with the endless celebration, are those that swirl around them, little tornadoes of light, laughter, love and grace. She reaches out and touches one, is lit up, feels her littlebigwomandaughter/mother and knows the love by heart. The sensation is one of satiation: full and fed. With the same light, laughter, love and grace. She was peaceful the moment she left. She is at peace when she touches the spirit she knows is in Bernice. Her girl is rich, rich with possibility and lifeforce. It fills Maggie and the room and everyone is awed for a moment while it passes through and over them. Her girl is filled with feelings that Maggie only gets to feel now, in this place.


From Birdie by TraceyLindberg ©2015. Published by HarperCollins Canada.

Author interviews

Tracey Lindberg's first novel, Birdie, draws on the humour of her own family and the darkness of being a sexual abuse survivor. 11:27
Author Tracey Lindberg on her debut novel, which is in the running for this year's Canada Reads. 18:44

More about this book

On CBC Edmonton's Radio Active, the inspiration and social context of Birdie by author Tracey Lindberg are discussed. The novel is a CBC Canada Reads contender for 2016. 4:13
The authors in this year's competition — Anita Rau Badami, Lawrence Hill, Tracey Lindberg, Saleema Nawaz and Michael Winter — read their books' crucial first sentences 3:32