The ostrich is one of nature's misfits: a gigantic bird that can neither fly nor sing. But the fin-de-siecle fetish for feathers made ostrich plumes more precious than gold. Rob Nixon grew up near the South African desert where ostriches first boomed, and had an early passion for the outsize bird. Later, his rejection of apartheid led him to immigrate to the United States, where he encountered a new wave of ostrich mania: American ranchers were trying to convert the gawky bird into a low-cal cuisine. Part memoir, part travelogue, Dreambirds is a natural history of a fantasy and a beautifully crafted, candid revelation of a man's soul.
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