I recently had the good fortune of being introduced to Bridget Bufford’s latest book, Cemetery Bird. Bufford was recently a guest at our library and because of that program, I had the privilege of meeting this fine author and listening to her talk about her experience writing this truly meaningful read.
At its heart, it is an exploration of one woman’s search for family and identity. It is the story of a young (half) Native American woman, Jay, who after an debilitating injury moves from Arizona to Missouri in order to help care for her autistic nephew, Brandon, while his mother works and takes college classes. This arrangement provides the opportunity for the development of two surprising relationships, which have a profound impact on Jay…. the one is obviously with her nephew and other is with one of her nephew’s classmates, who suffers from a severe brain injury. Bridget Bufford excels at giving the reader a realistic glimpse into the life of family members of people with autism and acquired brain injury at the same time writing in way about families all readers can appreciate it. This book is beautifully written and incredibly descriptive…and I even would go so far as to say, poetic. I would highly recommend to anyone who loves literary fiction. It also had the great honor of being nominated for the 2012 Pushcart award.