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Like a Bird: A Novel Audiobook, by Fariha Róisín Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Fariha Róisín Narrator: Ariana Delawari Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2020 ISBN: 9781982558857
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Like a Bird is the reckoning of a life force—or in Taylia Chatterjee’s opinion, a forced life. The daughter of a white, over-proactive American mother and a stern, intellectual Indian father, Taylia navigates a world constantly challenged by standards she never agreed to. She resents her father’s submission to assimilation, and his shameless chasing of the idyllic American Dream; she scoffs at her mother’s display of faux humanitarianism and her subtle self-proclaimed courage for marrying a “savage” (in Taylia’s opinion). But Taylia’s greatest umbrage is reserved for herself—and, like most girls budding into womanhood, the hatred for her own body (and her incapability to connect with anyone on any level) becomes the driving force.

Taylia’s sister Alyssa, on the other hand, is not like most girls. An heiress to the white-girl hierarchy, Alyssa has everything that Taylia lacks: the white-girl skin, the white-girl name, the white-girl joie de vivre—the quintessential “I wish I could be her” poster girl of the Upper West Side. Taylia fights to accept this unfair hand that was dealt to her, slipping in and out of her internal sufferings—often interrupted by apparitions of her deceased dadi-ma—to find there are very few clear answers as to why happiness is given so generously to some but deprived to others.

But after a series of most unforgivable events, Taylia is forced to reconcile her false perceptions of happiness and seek out her own definitions of what life means. And it is through that heartfelt journey—and through Róisín’s painfully honest and raw prose—that we see Taylia’s healing process begin.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Fariha’s voice is necessary in the world we live in today…She pulls you into her stories until you’re on the edge of your seat rooting for her subjects.”

    Rupi Kuar, #1 New York Times bestselling author

  • Like A Bird is such a generous text, teeming with layered and beautifully living characters. A flaw of so much book praise is the quest to make every book universal. This book sings, specifically, to a people, while leaving the door open wide enough for anyone else to walk through.”

    Hanif Abdurraqib, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Engrossing…Well-paced and hopeful, this stirring work will resonate with those interested in stories of young women breaking free of oppression and trauma.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • Like A Bird is a delicate tale of femininity, family, and trauma. Studded with jewels of poetic beauty and shaped by wisdom, this is a coming-of-age story about choosing oneself before choosing heritage—Taylia’s journey is ripe with the radical love of friendship, the power of ancestors and sisterhood, the wounds and joys of ‘the body’s ancient tapestry,’ and, as with Róisín’s other work, everything points to a sincere spirituality, a connection to and respect for the invisible world. Deeply moving and a marvel to read.”

    Aria Aber, Whiting Award–winning author of Hard Damage

  • Like a Bird pulses brilliantly, bright as a fresh wound as it seals and heals itself, as we bear witness to the travails and trauma of our wise young narrator, Taylia. In Fariha Róisín’s delicate, deft prose, the heartbreak of violence and familial estrangement compel a journey—rife with mistakes we all know well—towards a found, motley of mothers and lovers. Róisín’s imagination ruptures narratives about the aftermath of trauma. We are not left scarred, but permanently imprinted with Taylia’s resolute will to find her own way in the world.”

    Tanaïs, author of Bright Lines

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About the Author

Fariha Róisín is an Australian-Canadian writer based in Brooklyn. She has written for Al Jazeera, the Guardian, Vice, Fusion, Village Voice, and others. From 2012 onwards she co-hosted the podcast Two Brown Girls, a podcast that centered on black and brown voices in film and television. In 2017 she began a new series with TIFF called How Do You Solve a Problem Like, with the first season focusing on the lack of Asian leads in Hollywood.

About the Narrator

Ariana Delawari, an Earphones Award–winning narrator, is a musician, director, and actress. A graduate of the USC School of Cinematic Arts, she directed We Came Home, an award-winning documentary about her journeys to Afghanistan since 9/11, the making of her album “Lion of Panjshir,” and her family story. She recently became the first female of Afghan descent to perform rock music live in Afghanistan in over thirty years. She is also a member of the LA Ladies Choir and was recently a speaker and performer at the inaugural TEDx Kabul.