The Parrot's Perch: A Memoir

Karen Keilt (Author)


The Parrot's Perch opens in 2013, when Karen Keilt, age sixty, receives an invitation to testify at the Brazilian National Truth Commission at the UN in New York. The email sparks memories of her "previous life"--the one she has kept safely bottled up for more than thirty-seven years. Hopeful of helping to raise awareness about ongoing human rights violations in Brazil, she wants to testify, but she anguishes over reliving the horrific events of her youth. In the pages that follow, Keilt tells the story of her life in Brazil--from her exclusive, upper-class lifestyle and dreams of Olympic medals to her turmoil-filled youth. Full of hints of a dark oligarchy in Brazil, corruption, crime, and military interference, The Parrot's Perch is a searing, sometimes shocking true tale of suffering, struggle--and survival. Karen Keilt lived through the darkest days of Brazil's military dictatorship. In her courageous and compelling memoir, Keilt narrates an emotionally honest reckoning of her desire to find true happiness. Forbidden by her wealthy family to even mention her imprisonment, torture, and rape, Keilt is forced to make a change that will affect the rest of her life. Seen through her testimony to the Brazilian National Truth Commission at the UN, readers become witnesses to both her vulnerability and her quiet strength.

Product Details

$16.95  $15.59
She Writes Press
Publish Date
April 16, 2019
5.5 X 0.8 X 8.4 inches | 0.8 pounds
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Born and raised in Brazil to a Brazilian father and an American mother, Karen Keilt had a childhood of luxury and privilege. She began riding horses at age five and competing at age nine. She attended University of Sao Paulo, Faculdade Objetivo. However, in 1979, she fled to the US, after being unlawfully held prisoner and tortured by Brazilian police for 45 days before being ransomed. Since coming to America, she has enjoyed an eclectic career, including serving as Riding Master at the YMCA, and the first-ever female general manager of a men's professional RHI League hockey franchise, the Florida Hammerheads. She always gravitated back to her love of writing--first as a newspaper columnist in South Carolina, and later writing four screenplays: The Parrot's Perch, Bethebotu, The Gnashing of Teeth, and Maracanazo. Keilt enjoys traveling, hiking, Anusara yoga, amateur photography, and horseback riding. She lives in Carefree, Arizona, with her husband, Jack, and their dog, Luna.


"Keilt narrates an intense yet even-handed story of living under a dictatorship." --Publisher's Weekly

"Karen Keilt has written a powerful and moving memoir about a subject that's still just coming out of the closet: growing up terrified of a parent--and of one's environment in general--and the lifelong consequences of that fear. As women all over the world are becoming more outspoken about the truth of their experience, the timing of this book could not be better."
--Stephen Singular, author of Talked to Death: The Life and Murder of Alan Berg

"The Parrot's Perch is a riveting and compelling read that draws the reader in from the very first page. Karen Keilt's memoir is a story of innocence lost--betrayal and brutality, acceptance, and ultimately forgiveness. Its power leaves you questioning the human capacity to hurt one another--and, as the author beautifully demonstrates, the human heart's greater capacity to stand courageously for truth, justice, and love.
--Paulette Bodeman, author of The BreakAway Girl: Secrets of a Tantric Yogi