Pushcart nominee reads at Get Lost Bookshop
By Jill Renae Hicks
. ... the broken and redemptive story of Jay Aubuchon, a woman who returns to Missouri to take care of her autistic nephew after 20 years away in Arizona. As the tale progresses, the reader learns bits and pieces of Jay’s family’s unraveled past. The book skips between the past and present, gradually bringing the tale to a rounded completeness as the past years travel forward, carrying their gritty history on to both Jay and to the reader. ...MORE
|Columbia author Bridget Bufford releases Cemetery Bird
From fighting fires to writing about them, local author brings life to her fiction
BY TED HART
... “It was captivating to encounter a character who, while teaching the disabled characters life skills, lacked the coping mechanism required to deal with her demons,” says Lily Richards, Bufford’s editor at Casperian Books.
Local poet Marta Ferguson says Bufford’s assorted professions — Bufford has also worked in carpentry, in a group home, in a nursing home and in clinical physical therapy — give the author’s work an unsurpassable grittiness and realism. “In all of her work, the common thread is that the world she evokes is palpably real,” Ferguson says. ...MORE
|I found myself really caring about this very dysfunctional family. ...The relationship between Brandon and Sam, his paternal grandfather was also very sweet and reminded me on how important the family is to a child with autism. Overall, Cemetery Bird, though not a story of autism itself, touched me and reminded me that our struggles would be much worse if we did not have family and a sense of home. ..MORE
--Hope McPheeters, Director of ELLA’S HOPE FOR AUTISM
|With language like poetry, Bridget Bufford insinuates us into the life of the narrator Jenn/Jay, seducing us with compact chapters alternating between present and past, a family story of acceptance and forgiveness unfolding from Missouri to Arizona and back again. Poignant, intense, filled with knowledge about firefighting, therapy horses, llamas, autism, special needs, addiction and mental illness, loss, this novel delivers and reminds me why I love novels. I cried at the end because it was the end, and like Jenn, I was feeling at home.
--Jane Ellen Ibur, poet
|Pushcart-nominated Novelist Bridget Bufford on Missouri Roots
By Davis Dunavin
Missouri native Bridget Bufford's second novel Cemetery Bird has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Bufford speaks frankly about her upbringing in Missouri, writing drug-addicted characters and why it's so hard to run away from the Midwest....MORE
|Bridget Bufford creates characters that take up habitation in a reader’s mind, and live there always. Cemetery Bird is her second novel, a story of survival and ultimate triumph out at the edges of America, in the social jungle where the wild beasts are drugs and alcohol, poverty and mental illness. These lives, mostly invisible to the mainstream, are here made visible with generosity, wisdom, and a redeeming sense of humor. Jay, a fire-fighting narrator, says in the preface, “. . .this child, standing in the playground, could be no one on Earth but me.” However, reading, I come to love these characters, and to know that Jay, for a long time, will be “no one on earth but me.”
--Amherst Writers & Artists founder Pat Schneider, author of Writing Alone and With Others
|Cemetery Bird is a riveting exploration of one woman’s search for family and identity. Along her journey, she develops unexpected relationships with two young men with developmental disabilities who help her find her path. Bridget Bufford gives readers a realistic glimpse into the life of family members of people with autism and acquired brain injury. This book was a reminder of how life-altering relationships can come in all shapes and sizes.
--Erin Graff , Assistant Director of Independence NW, Portland, OR
|...a good story about people who are deeply flawed, richly human, and coming to grips with life on life’s terms.
--Baxter Clare, author of Cry Havoc, Street Rules, Last Call
|Suggested One Read: Cemetery Bird
....an enlightening story of maturity, consciousness and insight into the human condition. Bridget has an uncanny grasp on human behavior, what we observe and what we discard as we journey through this bumpy life.
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