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y separately published work icon The Flight of Birds single work   novel  
Issue Details: First known date: 2019... 2019 The Flight of Birds
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'The Flight of Birds is a novel in twelve stories, each of them compelled by an encounter between the human and animal worlds. The birds in these stories inhabit the same space as humans, but they are also apart, gliding above us. The Flight of Birds explores what happens when the two worlds meet.

'Joshua Lobb’s stories are at once intimate and expansive, grounded in an exquisite sense of place. The birds in these stories are variously free and wild, native and exotic, friendly and hostile. Humans see some of them as pets, some of them as pests, and some of them as food. Through a series of encounters between birds and humans, the book unfolds as a meditation on grief and loss, isolation and depression, and the momentary connections that sustain us through them. Underpinning these interactions is an awareness of climate change, of the violence we do to the living beings around us, and of the possibility of transformation. 

'The Flight of Birds will change how you think about the planet and humanity’s place in it.'  (Publication summary)

Notes

  • A novel in twelve stories.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Works about this Work

The Flight of Birds : A Novel in Twelve Stories by Joshua Lobb (2019) Rowena Lennox , 2020 single work review
— Appears in: Swamphen : A Journal of Cultural Ecology , no. 7 2020;

— Review of The Flight of Birds Joshua Lobb , 2019 single work novel

'This book feels good. The cover, designed by Miguel Yamin and Alexandra Guzmán, is smooth, matt laminated, with a luminous blue watercolour background that fades in places to white—designating clouds, perhaps, or sunspots? Three black cockatoos fly towards the top right-hand corner of the front cover. They are representations of the three black cockatoos who, in flight, came eye to eye with author Joshua Lobb as he walked across a rail bridge in North Wollongong, before they dropped and flew under the bridge.' (Introduction)

What I’m Reading Catherine McKinnon , 2019 single work column
— Appears in: Meanjin Online 2019;
The Flight of Birds : A Novel in Twelve Stories by Joshua Lobb Sascha Morrell , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , December no. 417 2019; (p. 44)

— Review of The Flight of Birds Joshua Lobb , 2019 single work novel

'Humans cannot imagine avian perspectives, Joshua Lobb admits, but his stories explore what we might learn from the attempt. Some of Lobb’s strategies are familiar from much recent fiction with ecological themes, such as the use of an educated, intellectually curious narrator-protagonist whose wide reading provides a convenient means of introducing diverse facts and anecdotes about birds into lyrical, richly figurative prose. Others are more adventurous, including shifts in grammatical person and tense. Far from being gratuitous, they foreground substantive questions of intergenerational responsibility.' (Introduction)

Experimental and Exegetical : Joshua Lobb’s Flock of Stories Lynette Washington , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: TEXT : The Journal of the Australian Association of Writing Programs , October vol. 23 no. 2 2019;

— Review of The Flight of Birds Joshua Lobb , 2019 single work novel

'The Flight of Birds by Joshua Lobb, a novel in twelve stories, is accompanied by an exegetical work. As the title indicates, the stories feature birds and their interactions with people. The reader is asked, at least initially, to consider the stories purely as fictional enterprises, isolated from the ‘Field Notes’ which follow at the end of the novel component. Rightly so, as first and foremost the role of a story is to engage the reader; it needs to function as a story before any other purpose, such as exegetical insight, can be attained.' (Introduction)

Relational Ethics : Writing about Birds; Writing about Humans Joshua Lobb , 2019 single work criticism
— Appears in: TEXT Special Issue Website Series , October no. 57 2019;
'Philip Armstrong points out that scholars in Animal Studies are ‘interested in attending not just to what animals mean to humans, but what they mean to themselves; that is, to the ways in which animals might have significances, intentions and effects quite beyond the designs of human beings’ (2008: 2). This essay asks: what are the ethics of representing birds in fiction? It promotes the model offered by Linda Alcoff in ‘The Problem of Speaking for Others’ (1992). Alcoff offers a set of ‘interrogatory practices’ for writers, including an analysis of our speaking position to expose any implicit discourses of domination at work, and, most importantly, a consideration for the effects of ‘speaking for’ on actual animals. Using Alcoff’s interrogatory practices as a framework, I examine the ways writers have allowed for ‘ethical relationships’ between humans and birds in fictional spaces. I investigate the function of birds as metaphor in three Australian novels: Alexis Wright’s The Swan Book (2013), Evie Wyld’s All the Birds, Singing (2013) and Catherine McKinnon’s Storyland (2017). In each of these, birds serve a symbolic function but are also given space to allow for their own experiences, voices, and knowledges. I will also reflect on the attempts I have made in my own novel, The Flight of Birds (2019), to grapple with the discourses of power at work and the impact of that power on the lives of real birds.' (Publication abstract)
Experimental and Exegetical : Joshua Lobb’s Flock of Stories Lynette Washington , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: TEXT : The Journal of the Australian Association of Writing Programs , October vol. 23 no. 2 2019;

— Review of The Flight of Birds Joshua Lobb , 2019 single work novel

'The Flight of Birds by Joshua Lobb, a novel in twelve stories, is accompanied by an exegetical work. As the title indicates, the stories feature birds and their interactions with people. The reader is asked, at least initially, to consider the stories purely as fictional enterprises, isolated from the ‘Field Notes’ which follow at the end of the novel component. Rightly so, as first and foremost the role of a story is to engage the reader; it needs to function as a story before any other purpose, such as exegetical insight, can be attained.' (Introduction)

The Flight of Birds : A Novel in Twelve Stories by Joshua Lobb Sascha Morrell , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , December no. 417 2019; (p. 44)

— Review of The Flight of Birds Joshua Lobb , 2019 single work novel

'Humans cannot imagine avian perspectives, Joshua Lobb admits, but his stories explore what we might learn from the attempt. Some of Lobb’s strategies are familiar from much recent fiction with ecological themes, such as the use of an educated, intellectually curious narrator-protagonist whose wide reading provides a convenient means of introducing diverse facts and anecdotes about birds into lyrical, richly figurative prose. Others are more adventurous, including shifts in grammatical person and tense. Far from being gratuitous, they foreground substantive questions of intergenerational responsibility.' (Introduction)

The Flight of Birds : A Novel in Twelve Stories by Joshua Lobb (2019) Rowena Lennox , 2020 single work review
— Appears in: Swamphen : A Journal of Cultural Ecology , no. 7 2020;

— Review of The Flight of Birds Joshua Lobb , 2019 single work novel

'This book feels good. The cover, designed by Miguel Yamin and Alexandra Guzmán, is smooth, matt laminated, with a luminous blue watercolour background that fades in places to white—designating clouds, perhaps, or sunspots? Three black cockatoos fly towards the top right-hand corner of the front cover. They are representations of the three black cockatoos who, in flight, came eye to eye with author Joshua Lobb as he walked across a rail bridge in North Wollongong, before they dropped and flew under the bridge.' (Introduction)

Relational Ethics : Writing about Birds; Writing about Humans Joshua Lobb , 2019 single work criticism
— Appears in: TEXT Special Issue Website Series , October no. 57 2019;
'Philip Armstrong points out that scholars in Animal Studies are ‘interested in attending not just to what animals mean to humans, but what they mean to themselves; that is, to the ways in which animals might have significances, intentions and effects quite beyond the designs of human beings’ (2008: 2). This essay asks: what are the ethics of representing birds in fiction? It promotes the model offered by Linda Alcoff in ‘The Problem of Speaking for Others’ (1992). Alcoff offers a set of ‘interrogatory practices’ for writers, including an analysis of our speaking position to expose any implicit discourses of domination at work, and, most importantly, a consideration for the effects of ‘speaking for’ on actual animals. Using Alcoff’s interrogatory practices as a framework, I examine the ways writers have allowed for ‘ethical relationships’ between humans and birds in fictional spaces. I investigate the function of birds as metaphor in three Australian novels: Alexis Wright’s The Swan Book (2013), Evie Wyld’s All the Birds, Singing (2013) and Catherine McKinnon’s Storyland (2017). In each of these, birds serve a symbolic function but are also given space to allow for their own experiences, voices, and knowledges. I will also reflect on the attempts I have made in my own novel, The Flight of Birds (2019), to grapple with the discourses of power at work and the impact of that power on the lives of real birds.' (Publication abstract)
What I’m Reading Catherine McKinnon , 2019 single work column
— Appears in: Meanjin Online 2019;
Last amended 21 Aug 2019 10:35:44
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