How to Turn Into a Bird


Product Details

$16.95  $15.76
Tin House Books
Publish Date
5.13 X 7.3 X 0.6 inches | 0.41 pounds

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

Elizabeth Bryer is a translator and writer from Australia. Her translations include Claudia Salazar Jiménez's Americas Prize-winning Blood of the Dawn; Aleksandra Lun's The Palimpsests, for which she was awarded a PEN/Heim Translation Fund grant; and José Luis de Juan's Napoleon's Beekeeper. Her debut novel, From Here On, Monsters, was co-winner of the 2020 Norma K. Hemming Award.

María José Ferrada's children's books have been published all over the world. Her first adult novel, How to Order the Universe, has been translated into nine languages. Ferrada has been awarded numerous prizes and is a three-time winner of the Chilean Ministry of Culture Award. How to Turn Into a Bird received the Chilean Art Critics Circle Award. She lives in Santiago, Chile.


With all the brutal simplicity of a fairy tale, María José Ferrada lays bare the blind and violent intolerance that reigns on the precarious outskirts of an unequal society. A deceptively simple tale in a sensitive translation by Elizabeth Bryer--this book is a gift to English-speaking readers.--Megan McDowell
How to Turn into a Bird takes a piercing look at how the human spirit can be nurtured, even set free, by curiosity and compassionate attention--or altogether quashed by fear and judgment. María José Ferrada and translator Elizabeth Bryer have created a vivid, poignant atmosphere, both mournful and tender.--Robin Myers
Enchanting. . . . As in Ferrada's past work, this one has much to say on themes of acceptance, conformity, and societal expectations.-- "Publishers Weekly"
Exquisite.-- "Historical Novel Society"
A tender coming of age tale.-- "The Washington Post"
Provides remarkable insight. . . . The theme of the value and place of nonconformity in today's society will ring true.-- "Library Journal"
Reveals the kindnesses and cruelties that humans are capable of.-- "San Francisco Chronicle"
Fascinating.-- "Chicago Review of Books"
Excellent. . . . Ferrada, much like Jacqueline Woodson in Red at the Bone, knows that freedom may be found in the fetters of youth, allowing her readers to learn along with her characters.-- "On the Seawall"
Touching and transfixing.-- "Ms. Magazine"
A masterful, provocative, and timely artwork that shows what can happen to those who risk a life of freedom that diverges from the norm.-- "Ploughshares"
A blissful escape. . . . Gorgeously detailed, layered, and a true pleasure to read.-- "The Avocado Diaries"
Enchanting.-- "Book Riot"