YVES SAINT-PIERRE'S SPECIAL INTRODUCTION
AT THE BOOK LAUNCH::
Brendan and I have been friends since grade school and although, at various time we have lived fairly far apart, we have always kept in touch and have remained the best of friends. I am pleased and honoured to have been asked to introduce him here today.
I’d like to trace for you a few of the threads in his life that have lead to his being here today. The common theme is words and Brendan’s relationship to words.
For most of his professional life, Brendan has earned his living writing advertising copy, particularly direct marketing copy, for prestigious companies and later as a freelancer. The purpose of advertising copy is to engage the reader’s attention immediately and to motivate him or her to respond. In the course of his career he was also called upon to translate. In translation one must be particularly attentive to diction, to context, tone and inflection and to the various connotations of words. Not bad training for a writer of fiction.
Somewhere along the line, and I’m a little sketchy about details of time and circumstance, so indulge me and bear in mind that, here, as in good fiction, accuracy has more to do with truth than facts. Somewhere along the line, then, Brendan also earned a degree in psychology. Psychology, of course, is the science of human behaviour. In becoming a psychologist, one learns, among other things, to hear in patients’ words the various layers of subtext.
As well, Brendan studied writing, specifically writing for film. In studying screenwriting I am sure one must learn about structure, about the dramatic structure of scenes and sequences, about the structure of the overarching story and about the importance of narrative coherence.
Most recently, Brendan has become a teacher himself, at McGill, where he teaches writing. And, as a teacher, one must be most attentive to words, how they come together to create and to impart meaning.
I’d like to end by going back to the beginning. Brendan was born into a warm, boisterous and voluble working-class Irish family. Having always been made welcome in his childhood home, been made to feel a member of the family myself, I believe it is within the family that Brendan learned the most about human relationships and about values, about what is valuable. Later, Brendan extended his Irish family through his marriage to Bernadette Duffin. From his early years, Brendan has become increasingly steeped in his Irish culture, first through his family and extended family and through reading and music and frequent travels to the old sod. He has completely embraced and been embraced by his Irish culture, the culture that has given the English language its greatest wordsmiths, its finest story tellers.
Considering all of this, the book you hold in your hand right now, or will before the afternoon is out, is likely to be a fine read indeed.
And now I am pleased to turn things over to the author of The Boy and the Crow, Brendan Walsh.
Apologies to Mr. Brendan Walsh, I couldn't access the testimonials page, so I am posting my comments regarding 'The Boy and the Crow' here, on the blog page.
When I was about to read the book, a memory 'flew' into my mind. I had invited a neighbour to attend an 'open mic' night, where wannabe artists sing their tunes, or cover their favorite songs. My neighbour said to me, after I had performed, "I'm glad you didfn't suck. The next few days would have been akward."
No sarcasm, just fear, of being honest. So, let's be honest.
60 pages or so into 'The Boy and the Crow" I became wary. Two charachters were described as having beards like 'Santa Claus'.
'Oh No.....' I thought to myself. Having actually shared smiles, shaken hands and waved good mornings with the auhor.
I was honestly hoping that the rest of the book wouldn't result in an akward moment.......
And....it didn't. IThe book swam, it rolled, it inspired love and hate, truth and lies, it desribed the fine life between friendship and faith. It made me wish that I had black wings.
If you are going through your life and think that noone is sharing your pain you need to read this book. Someone is 'cawing' for you.....you just need to recognize the pattern. Look for the Crows.
A "Must Read".
Note to Mr.Walsh.....
This book made me think of a song by Montgomery Gentry, name of the song is "Tatoos and Scars" Look it up.
Daniel Morris saying,
Read your synopsis of The Boy and the Crow on Goodreads giveaway listing. Looks very intriguing. Went to your sight. Love the picture of the crow on the fence. Have often watched the birds on the fence teasing my cats. My youngest will wiggle with excitement. Her lower jaw will quiver and she goes "Maaaa. Maaaa." A couple of days ago the birds were dancing along the top of the fence, saying in essence "Ha ha, you can't get me" , she was quivering with excitement wishing she could get to them, when one of the birds flew at the window, she ducked, and fell off the window sill. The bird pulled up and back to the fence as she quickly got back on the window sill and pawed at the window wanting to get through. Laugh!! Oh, yes I did. Love animal stories, love coming of age stories. Love mysteries. Face it I love to read just about anything. Been reading since the 3rd grade. I am 66 now. Read fiction and non-fiction. I hope to be reading the book soon. Animals make such a big difference in the lives of many people. My oldest son wasn't very empathetic until in his 30's he got a dog. The dog forced him to think of someone besides himself. He spent the night at his girlfriends one night and the dog tracked him down and was sitting outside waiting when he got up in the morning. Shocked the living daylights out of him, said she was a good mile away. It helped him to learn that he had a greater responsibility than just himself. Life is full of richness to those who are willing to take the time to see it. Success and Joy to You and Yours. Della
Didn't have time to add. I am most interested in seeing how Daniel handles his new living situation. How his relationship with his grandparents develops and how he handles the sheriff and his old chums.
Hello Brendan, I tried to post my review of The Boy and the Crow but I have to download Microsoft Outlook. I would like to post the review here and please feel free to repost it in the correct place on your website.
Review of Brendan Walsh's The Boy and the Crow
Daniel Cagney knows a thing or two about crows. He knows that there are two kinds; the gang members he hung out with in New York city who called themselves "The Crows," and the Corvus brachyrhynchos kind, the American crow.
When Daniel is sent on a year's probation to live with his grandparents on their farm in Vermont his knowledge of both types of "crows" changes. He learns to disassociate himself from his former gang with the help of his dog Jessie and a crow named Paddy. Humans help him along the way also, but Daniel's appreciation for freedom comes mostly from Paddy.
When Daniel wounds Paddy by accident and then nurses the crow back to health, a bond is created between boy and crow. Although Danny saved Paddy's life, at the end of the story we learn that Paddy returns the favor.
Gang life, teen angst, the need to belong, struggling to be accepted, and gang mentality are nothing when it comes to simple family values and the love of family and friends.
Walsh has a keen eye and ear for the sights and sounds of nature. He constructs a vivid word picture which transports the reader to the green hills of Vermont. I heard every "caw caw" as clearly as if Paddy was on my own shoulder. I shivered with Danny and his mother as they feared for their lives in a pit rapidly filling with water, I saw the landscape and felt the emotions of each character.
The lesson learned from The Boy and The Crow by Brendan Walsh is that sometimes animals and birds know more about us than we think. Read Brendan Walsh's The Boy and The Crow, you'll never look at a crow the same way again.
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