The Bluebird Café
by Carmel Bird
The world of Australian writer Carmel Bird is one in which no hard line is drawn between everyday reality and unvarnished fantasy. Her new novel, The Bluebird Café, is a delectable concoction. In the brew are an Historic Museum Village (a Tasmanian Disneyland under an enormous glass dome), a verdant horizontal forest, the mysterious disappearance of midget child Lovelygod, anorexic teenager and later famous writer Virginia O’Day who pens letters to long-deceased Charles Dickens, a Japanese student’s research paper, recipes for Heavenly Tart and Cherry Ripe Slices, information about aborigines and thylacenes. Ms. Bird describes her books as being in some sense a meditation on extinction––of races of people, species of animals and plants, language meanings, the human spirit. Equally it is a celebration of the hope that continues to burn in human hearts, of delight and wonder that still abound.