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"[Unferth's] language is sly and bitterly funny, matched in mood by Haidle’s monochromatic, inkwash–style artwork, which plays up the story’s whimsy as well as its sadness." —The New York Times Book Review
Daphne is willing to risk everything to get her son back. Surreal, funny and deeply affecting, I, Parrot is the tale of mother, a son, forty–two endangered parrots, and a fierce search for redemption and a "freer world."
When Daphne loses custody of her son, she is willing to do whatever it takes to get him back—even if it means enlisting the help of the wayward love of her life, a trio of housepainters, a flock of passenger pigeons, a landlady from hell, a super–sized bag of mite–killing powder, and more parrots than she knows what to do with.
I, Parrot, by acclaimed author Deb Olin Unferth with stunning illustrations by artist Elizabeth Haidle, dips into the surreal with poignancy and humor. In this riveting, funny, and tragic graphic novel, Daphne must risk everything. Her quest is ultimately a tale about civilization’s decline, the heartbreak of extinction, and the redemption found in individual revolution.
“A lovingly crafted world of gray, at once complex and weightless.” —Roman Muradov, author of Lost and Found
About the Author
Deb Olin Unferth is the author of four books, including Wait Till You See Me Dance and Revolution, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her fiction has appeared in Harper’s Magazine, The Paris Review, Granta, and Tin House. She lives in Austin, Texas.
Elizabeth Haidle is a freelance artist based in Portland, Oregon. She is the creative director and regular contributor at Illustoria magazine, while writing and illustrating a nonfiction graphic novel series and raising her teenage son.
Praise for I, Parrot by Deb Olin Unferth and Elizabeth Haidle
"[Unferth's] language is sly and bitterly funny, matched in mood by Haidle’s monochromatic, inkwash–style artwork, which plays up the story’s whimsy as well as its sadness."" —The New York Times Book Review
"I don't know anything about birds, but I do know good comics, and this is one."" —Vulture
"Unferth dexterously juggles pathos and humor in her debut graphic novel, an intimate and contemplative reflection on the slow revelatory dawning of what it means to care for something—or someone. . . . Unexpectedly funny, sad, scary, affirming and totally engrossing."" —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"[A] winningly surreal collaboration. . . . Unferth impresses with strong characterizations and a tightrope tragicomic tone. Haidle's spare, cartoony, Mary Blair–ish illustrations, impressively rendered in grayscale—especially the 20 different species of parrots and the characters' permanent, 'rosy' blush—and her retro–futuristic, all–caps style perfectly complement the colorful, off–kilter tale of a woman redirecting the sails of her story."" —Booklist
"Haidle brings more than just design expertise. Her simple, crisp grayscale images set the tone for the story: a dreamlike softness evoked by the mid–20th century modernist cartoon figures, overlaid with the textural complexity of watercolor, but stripped of color."" —Multiversity Comics
"A deftly observed, sad, and ultimately hopeful fable about civilization, wildness, and love.” —Molly Crabapple, author of Drawing Blood
"I, Parrot beautifully renders the weird in–betweenness of life. It illuminates the messy: custody battles, insecticide hazards, the hairpin paths of love.” —Leanne Shapton, author of Swimming Studies
"A lovingly crafted world of gray, at once complex and weightless.” —Roman Muradov, author of Lost and Found