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A Bird's Eye

Written by Cary Fagan

  • 192 Pages
  • 9781770893108
  • 7.25" x 4.5"
  • FICTION / Literary



Publication Date August 31, 2013

Shortlisted for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, and selected as an Best Book.

With all the wonder of a small-scale The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay comes this moving and unforgettable novel about childhood, love, and magic.

Growing up in a Jewish neighbourhood in the 1930s, young Benjamin Kleeman falls in love, first with Corrine Foster and then with magic. Hiding his new passions from his parents — the long-suffering Bella, an Italian immigrant, and Jacob, a talented but failed inventor of elaborate mechanical devices — Benjamin begins apprenticeships in magic and life itself, learning along the way that everything is more complicated than it seems.

With wit, tenderness, humour, and, startling beauty, Cary Fagan brings a gifted young man’s rise to a peculiar kind of stardom, wonderfully alive.

Short-listed for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize 2013

Selected for the Best Books: Editors' Picks 2013


Cary Fagan

Cary Fagan has won the Vicky Metcalf Award, the Jewish Book Award and the IODE Jean Throop Book Award, and his books have been nominated for the Rogers Trust Fiction Prize, the Giller Prize, the Silver Birch Award, the Norma Fleck Award and the Rocky Mountain Book Award. He is the author of several popular short novels and picture books, including Danny, Who Fell in a Hole and A Cage Went in Search of a Bird (illustrated by Banafsheh Erfanian). The Old World, his recent collection of adult short stories, was published by Anansi in March 2017.


"A slim volume of great beauty, memorable and filled with truth. Cary Fagan has managed to make Toronto seem magical." Gary Shteyngart, author of Super Sad True Love Story

"In A Bird's Eye, Fagan's complementary talents for literary intent and straightforward reader appeal are deftly combined." Edmonton Journal

"Fagan's book is a tiny gem, entertaining, funny and scrumptiously written." Toronto Star

"Fagan captures the long days and delight of youth...A Bird’s Eye consumed me like a memory, warm and sweet and sad. If I didn’t know better, I’d say it was magic." Globe and Mail

"Cary Fagan is the first author to portray so masterfully that inherent in [Kensington Market] pure and utter magic." National Post

"...small, yet incrediby rich..." Welland Tribune

"This minimalist novel from the iconic Cary Fagan demonstrates the author's talent for making every word count. Like a poet, he curates white space, the silences between words, every fleck of punctuation." The Coast

"Fagan's writing style, coupled with his familiar yet refreshing characters, makes the novel one where the pages get turned faster and faster as the reader gets more interested in what happens next." Winnipeg Free Press

"...A Bird’s Eye, with its trim and finely balanced prose, diverse mix of ethnic characters, fine sense of place and storyline that glides along as smoothly as a bird in flight, ranks as perhaps [Fagan's] finest book yet." The Canadian Jewish News