The Lord God Bird


Russell Hill
The Lord God Bird
(Caravel Books, June 2009)

2009 Edgar Award Nominee for “Best Original Paperback”

The Lord God Bird is a startling novella filled with dark images of America in the South in 1949. Jake Hamrick, a 19-year-old who has been obsessed since childhood with the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, a bird that is on the verge of extinction, leaves Illinois for Louisiana to find the creature, accompanied by Robin, his tiny girlfriend. They search in the bayous where the bird was last reported, and Robin, as obsessed as Jake, dresses like the bird, smearing her naked body with white clay, wearing a cloak of black crow feathers, her hair in a red crest. She is discovered by local hunters and Robin and Jake are pursued deep into the bayous, where they are harbored by Robert, an ancient black man. It is a cinematic novella of obsession, passion, violence, love and loss that you won’t forget.

“Hill himself exhibits extraordinary powers in this blazing improvisation on the story of Eden.  A breathtaking drama of nature’s mercurial glory and humankind’s grim folly.”

“Russell Hill is such a sharp observer of the human scene, such an astute commentator on life and its joys and miseries, that you will find yourself turning the pages quickly to find out what new perception he will pass on to us next.”
–Los Angeles Daily News

“Vividly rendered.  Russell Hill is a fine writer.”
–Los Angeles Times

“A sublime piece of writing, atmospheric and touching.”
–Mike Hodges, director of Get Carter and Croupier