The Boy with a Bird in His Chest


Product Details

$17.99  $16.73
Atria Books
Publish Date
5.38 X 8.24 X 0.88 inches | 0.66 pounds

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About the Author

Emme Lund is an author living and writing in Portland, Oregon. She has an MFA from Mills College. Her work has appeared in Electric Literature, Time, The Rumpus, Autostraddle, and many more. In 2019, she was awarded an Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship in Fiction. The Boy with a Bird in His Chest is her first novel. Visit for more information.


"Lund has created a fable for our age: a modern coming of age full of love, desperation, heartache and magic. An honest celebration of life and everything we need right now in a book."--Andrew Sean Greer, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Less
"Emme Lund's The Boy with a Bird in His Chest is a beautiful, tender book. I was deeply moved by this story; very caught up in the ways in which family, grief, love, queerness, and vulnerability all intersect. Lund's sentences are sweet and stick to your ribs. I found myself falling in love with these characters--these messy, deeply realized, fully lovable, and wonderfully human people. The Boy with a Bird in His Chest is a terrific first novel and Emme Lund is a profoundly gifted writer."--Kristen Arnett, New York Times bestselling author of Mostly Dead Things and With Teeth
"The Boy with a Bird in His Chest is a beautiful and atmospheric allegory for what we hide in the world, executed with tense lyricism."--Christine Hyung-Oak Lee, author of Tell Me Everything You Don't Remember
"Emme Lund's The Boy with a Bird in His Chest is the queer coming of age novel I wish I'd had when I was a teenager. Funny and gutting, tender and scorchingly honest, surreal and a little too real, this novel captures the pain and joy of learning to live with your body and all its desires. The Boy with a Bird in His Chest reads like The Perks of Being a Wallflowers written by Kelly Link. Lund's vision is striking, resonant, and unforgettable."--Isle McElroy, author of The Atmospherians, a New York Times Editors' Choice
"Lund's accomplished debut imagines an LGBTQ allegory with a blend of magical fantasy and stark reality. [. . .] Lund's emotive prose treats Owen's burgeoning development with grace and care. This fine effort succeeds at bringing new life to the coming-of-age story."-- "Publishers Weekly"
"A lovely piece of magical realism . . . the strangeness sets it apart from other coming-of-age stories. Embrace magic and suspend your disbelief and this novel may just take you on a beautiful, necessary journey."-- "Kirkus Reviews"
"The burden of living with a secret is poignantly rendered and illuminating for those who seek to understand living a life outside the ordinary."-- "The Washington Post"
"Emme Lund has managed to capture so many of these feelings and weave them naturally in a story about a boy with a bird in his chest."-- "Porter House Review"
"Lund's brilliant debut is unlike any other coming-of-age out there [...] This is an unputdownable and weirdly relatable book readers won't want to miss."-- "Debutiful"
"Lund's debut novel is a tender bildungsroman that deals honestly with magic, love, grace, and fear."-- "Alta"