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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.

What begins with Bird, by Noy Holland

rEprint Series Ebooks

What begins with Bird, by Noy Holland

What Begins with Bird FINAL cover.jpg
What Begins with Bird FINAL cover.jpg

What begins with Bird, by Noy Holland

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Noy Holland’s second collection of stories, What begins with bird, once again finds her pushing the boundaries of language and rhythm with her writing. Delving into family relationships, frequently with female protagonists, Holland’s writing develops a tension, both in the situations written of, and in the writing itself.


"Holland's scrupulousness and respect for the language keep this text alive and kicking. What begins with bird is a book to be read slowly and thoughtfully, shared, passed along." —John Wideman

"From broken phrase to sentence, from sentence to paragraph, from paragraph to scene and scene to story, Noy Holland's aims are ambitious, her tone right, her diction masterful, and she spells her stories out in bites of beautifully lyrical but bitter prose and with an ardent grimness of eye that is both unsettling and intensely satisfying. What begins with bird is a remarkable achievement." —William Gass

"A ravishing associative logic of recurrent objects and sounds distinguishes Noy Holland's original stories; the bird in the title is the writer, herself, surely a poet, singing of 'The slickened births and murders, ours, the fierce wide blowing day.' Old wisdom newly and grandly delivered." —Christine Schutt

"Holland is… is undeniably a writer's writer, and language lovers will thrill to her jittery rhythms." —Publishers Weekly

"Risk-taking, ambitious prose." —Kirkus Reviews


Noy Holland’s collections of short fiction and novellas include The Spectacle of the Body(Knopf) What begins with bird (FC2) and Swim for the Little One First, forthcoming from FC2. She has published work in ConjunctionsThe QuarterlyMilan ReviewBlack Warrior ReviewThe BelieverNOONNew York Tyrant, and Post Road, among others. She was a recipient of a Massachusetts Cultural Council award for artistic merit and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship.