Wednesday Aug 28, 2013
A new birding novel by author Priyanka Kumar.
There are 51.3 million birders in the United States, making it the one of the most popular pastimes in the country, according to the National Audubon Society. And while New Mexico has always been an important birding destination, it has become the red-hot epicenter of the birding world since the sighting of a Rufous-Necked Wood-Rail at the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in late July.In her new novel, TAKE WING AND FLY HERE, Santa Fe author and filmmaker Priyanka Kumar captures both the intense competition and stark beauty of this world of birding. On Wednesday August 28th at 7pm, Kumar will be at Bookworks (4022 Rio Grande Blvd NW, Albuquerque, NM 87107, 505-344-8139) to discuss her writing and share her fine art photography of birds.“I’ve been birding for about 12 years,” says Kumar, a Santa Fe resident. “I was teaching filmmaking in Santa Cruz when I visited the Elkhorn Slough that's just south of town. Greeted by enthusiastic volunteers armed with battered copies of the National Geographic Guide to Birds, I became fascinated by what I learned was a long-billed curlew eating its lunch. I didn't realize in that moment that how I looked at the world was about to change in a dramatic way.”TAKE WING AND FLY HERE is the first novel in Kumar’s New West Trilogy, which explores our changing relationship with the outdoors in the American West. Set in Southern California, it tells the story of a PhD candidate in physics whose life begins to unravel after he takes on a Big Year challenge – how many different birds can he find in 365 days? JK’s main competitor is the president of the oldest birding society in America, which is facing bankruptcy in its Centennial year. Against a backdrop of ambition and fraught relationships, the characters struggle to find meaningful connections in their lives. Can the magnetic, mysterious power of nature hold the answers?This is the first novel for Kumar, award-winning writer, director and producer of the feature documentary The Song of the Little Road, about Satyajit Ray, and starring Martin Scorsese, Ismail Merchant, and Ravi Shankar. Kumar’s awards include the New Mexico/New Visions Governor’s award, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Award, and an Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences fellowship. She has taught filmmaking at UC Santa Cruz.
Phone: (505) 344-8139