This reading group guide for Birds of a Lesser Paradise
includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Megan Mayhew Bergman
. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.Introduction
Megan Mayhew Bergman’s Birds of a Lesser Paradise
captures the surprising moments when the pull of our biology becomes evident, when love collides with good sense, and when our attachments to an animal or wild place can’t be denied. In “Housewifely Arts,” a single mother and her son drive hours to track down an African Gray Parrot that can mimic her dead mother’s voice. A population control activist faces the ultimate conflict between loyalty to the environment and maternal desire in “Yesterday’s Whales.” And in the title story, a lonely naturalist allows an attractive stranger to lead her and her aging father on a hunt for an elusive woodpecker. As intelligent as they are moving, the stories in Birds of a Lesser Paradise
are alive with emotion, wit, and insight into the impressive power that nature has over all of us.
Topics & Questions for Discussion
1. How much of a role does nature play in the lives of the heroines of Mayhe