Saturday, March 27, 2021

Book Blog Tour and Giveaway: A Wall of Bright Dead Feathers by Babette Fraser Hale

Welcome to my stop on the book blog tour for A Wall of Bright Dead Feathers by Babette Fraser Hale. This blog tour was organized by Lone Star Book Blog Tours. On my stop, I have an excerpt from one of the stories in the book as well as the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win some great prizes. Be sure to visit the other blogs on the tour for more content. Enjoy!
Title: A Wall of Bright Dead Feathers
Author: Babette Fraser Hale
Publication Date: March 1st 2021
Print Length: 216 pages
Genre: Literary Fiction, Short Stories
Most are newcomers to the scenic, rolling countryside of central Texas whose charms they romanticize, even as the troubles they hoped to leave behind persist. Twelve stories highlight “the book’s recurring theme of desire—for freedom, for clarity, for autonomy, and for personal fulfillment … When women are alone, unencumbered and unbeholden to anyone, they engage in intense internal reflection and show reverence for nature—and during these scenes, Hale’s language is luminescent” (Kirkus Reviews).

Hale shows a great respect for her characters and for the difficulty of their deceptively ordered existence, as well as for the problems they suffer because so much cannot be spoken.” -- Francine Prose, on “Silences

A vivid set of tales about connection to other people and to the natural world…Hale’s lovely prose shows a keen eye for detail…” – Kirkus Reviews
Excerpt from “CICADAS,” included in
A Wall of Bright Dead Feathers
by Babette Fraser Hale

When they met, Lily had been a widow for eight years, with an established business selling refurbished country antiques. She’d begun in her usual haphazard way, with a homely table she found in a roadside junk shop. Almost Shaker plain, it had a broken leg held together with duct tape. Someone had gouged L+J into one corner of the top.

Lily saw stories layered into the damage—a lovesick boy in overalls with a sharp penknife; years later, an angry husband the night his crop was ruined. Her heart beat faster the longer she looked. It was the idea of it, that human passion could be preserved this way in ordinary combustible wood.

Once she had begun noticing, she discovered cast-off pieces everywhere, handmade, but abused.

There were buildings, too. Farmhouses, sheds, squatting in the heat with sloping metal roofs that gleamed in the parts rust hadn’t taken. Some had empty windows and walls of weathered wood chewed across the bottom as if by small animals.

Driving past a deserted house one day, she pictured the farm wife who’d lived there. She saw a wiry woman, prematurely aged, carrying water from the well her man had dug by hand. Scrubbing on a washboard the clothes whose material she’d spun herself. Women like that had worked in the fields, then cooked endless meals from what the land could render. They’d given birth to children, lost them and husbands to disease and ceaseless struggle.

The road before her blurred. She pulled over to the grassy verge, wiped her eyes. The heat of her own loss remained alive, banked, requiring only the slightest puff of her attention to renew its ache.

Anger was healthier. She felt it pulsing now. How could the dwellings that bore witness to such exhausted love and pain be discarded like the beer cans and Big Gulps lying in a roadside ditch?

Lily bought three of the dilapidated houses—for practically no money—and moved them to the patch of woods and pasture where she’d been living since Travis died. She had them painted in soft neutral colors, inside and out, and left them beside one another in a clearing, separated from her house by a hundred feet of yaupon and post oak. She used one for storing rebuilt furniture, but for the other two, she had no plan, at first.
Babette Fraser Hale’s fiction has won the Meyerson Award from Southwest Review, a creative artist award from the Cultural Arts Council of Houston, and been recognized among the “other distinguished stories” in Best American Short Stories, 2015. Her story “Drouth” is part of the New York Public Library’s digital collection. Her nonfiction has appeared in Texas Monthly, Houston City, and the Houston Chronicle. She writes a personal essay column for the Fayette County Record.

TWO WINNERS each receive a signed bookplate + a $20 Brazos Bookstore gift card to buy a copy of A Wall of Bright Dead Feathers by Babette Fraser Hale.
(US only.)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
for direct links to each post on this tour, updated daily,
or visit the blogs directly:

3/23/21   Author Video   The Page Unbound
3/23/21   Excerpt   Texas Book Lover
3/24/21   Review   Book Bustle
3/24/21   BONUS Promo   LSBBT Blog
3/25/21   Review   Rainy Days with Amanda
3/25/21   Author Interview   Chapter Break Book Blog
3/26/21   Review   Missus Gonzo
3/27/21   Excerpt   All the Ups and Downs
3/28/21   Guest Post   The Clueless Gent
3/29/21   Review   StoreyBook Reviews
3/29/21   Author Interview   Hall Ways Blog
3/30/21   Review   Reading by Moonlight
3/31/21   Review   Bibliotica
3/31/21   Guest Post   Librariel Book Adventures
4/1/21   Review   It's Not All Gravy
4/1/21 Review Forgotten Winds

Lone Star Literary Life
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