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Ann Arbor, MI, 48103
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Dzanc Books is nonprofit press specializing in literary fiction and nonfiction. In addition to publishing activities, Dzanc Books also supports the Disquiet International Literary Program.

Byrd, by Kim Church

Dzanc Ebooks

Byrd, by Kim Church

Church - Byrd Cover with artwork.jpg
Church - Byrd Cover with artwork.jpg

Byrd, by Kim Church

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Addie Lockwood believes in books. Roland Rhodes believes in blues guitar. Coming of age in the small-town South of the 1970s, they form a friendship as extraordinary as it is unlikely.

They meet again in their disillusioned thirties, this time in California, where Roland's music career has landed him. Venice Beach is exotic, a world away from North Carolina and Addie's cloistered life as a bookstore clerk. 

But when her whirlwind reunion with Roland leaves Addie pregnant, reality sets in. Conflicted, unready to be a mother, she gives birth to a son--Byrd--and surrenders him for adoption without telling Roland, little imagining how the secret will shape their lives. 

Told through letters and sharply drawn vignettes, Byrd is an unforgettable story about making and living with the most difficult, intimate, and far-reaching of choices.


"Brilliant writing - lively and heartbreaking at every turn." - Jill McCorkle, New York Times bestselling author of Life After Life

"Kim Church has created an unforgettable and gripping tale about a young woman's passage to adulthood in a small town in North Carolina in her excellent debut novel, Byrd. There are books we like to read because they provide a window to a world wholly unfamiliar, but there are others like Byrd that give insight into our own lives." - BookPage

"This protagonist is so appealing, with her unflinching moral candor, her mistakes based on generous instincts. The prose is lilting, joyous. This novel--about young lives that start out full of promise, falter, then recover--is a hard luck story that will make you feel good." -- Debra Monroe, author of On the Outskirts of Normal: Forging a Family Against the Grain

"A riveting debut." -- Ron RashNew York Times bestselling author of Serena and Nothing Gold Can Stay

"Addie is a particular woman -- a character that will linger and grow beloved -- but she could also be your sister, your roommate from college, a friend in the neighborhood. ... Kim Church has imagined a world of good people missing the mark as good people sometimes do. They're familiar, a comfort. I will never forget the impact of the final pages." -- Patricia Henley, National Book Award finalist and author of Other Heartbreaks

"A richly layered story that explores motherhood and its attendant relationships in ways that break new ground, both stylistically and thematically. Already recognized for her work in the short story form, Kim Church should gain national attention with this original and important novel." -- Angela Davis-Gardner, author of Butterfly's Child

"Beautiful, dream-like language ... connects us directly with the experience of the characters. It goes right to the heart, without being filtered through the brain, the way a smell connects you to a memory." -- Nancy PeacockNew York Timesnotable author of Life Without Water and The Life & Times of Persimmon Wilson


Kim Church's short stories have appeared in ShenandoahMississippi Review, Painted Bride QuarterlyFlash Fiction Forward, and elsewhere. A Pushcart Prize nominee, she has received fiction fellowships from the North Carolina Arts Council, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Millay Colony for the Arts, and Vermont Studio Center. She lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with her husband, artist Anthony Ulinski. Byrd is her first novel.