Mateship with Birds

by Carrie Tiffany

On the outskirts of a country town in the early 1950s, a lonely farmer trains his binoculars on a raucous family of kookaburras roosting next to his dairy. As Harry observes the birds through a year of feast, famine, birth, death, war, romance and song, his neighbour, Betty, has her own set of binoculars trained on him. Betty’s son, Michael, gravitates to the gentle man next door, and Harry, sensing Michael is ready to stretch his wings, decides to teach him about sex. Harry knows everything about the land. But what does he know about women?

Carrie Tiffany was born in Yorkshire and grew up in Perth, Western Australia. Her debut, Everyman’s Rules for Scientific Living, won the Western Australian Premier’s Book Award for Fiction and was shortlisted for the 2006 Orange Prize for Fiction, the Guardian First Book Award, and the Miles Franklin Literary Award.