Bird Suit

by Sydney Hegele

Invisible Publishing

Bird Suit

by Sydney Hegele

Invisible Publishing

A tourist town folk tale of stifled ambition, love, loss, and the bird women who live beneath the lake.

Every summer the peaches ripen in Port Peter, and the tourists arrive to gorge themselves on fruit and sun. They don’t see the bird women, who cavort on the cliffs and live in a meadow beneath the lake. But when summer ends and the visitors go back home, every pregnant Port Peter girl knows what she needs to do: deliver her child to the Birds in a laundry basket on those same lakeside cliffs. But the Birds don’t want Georgia Jackson.

Twenty years on, the peaches are ripening again, the tourists have returned, and Georgia is looking for trouble with any ill-tempered man she can find. When that man turns out to be Arlo Bloom—her mother’s ex and the new priest in town—she finds herself drawn into a complicated matrix of friendship, grief, faith, sex, and love with Arlo, his wife, Felicity, and their son, Isaiah. Vivid, uncanny, and as likely cursed as touched by grace, their story is a brutal, generous tale as sticky and lush as a Port Peter peach.

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Sydney Hegele (they/them) is the author of The Pump (Invisible Publishing 2021), winner of the 2022 ReLit Literary Award for Short Fiction and a finalist for the 2022 Trillium Book Award. Their essays on life with Dissociative Identity Disorder have appeared in Catapult and Electric Literature, and have been featured by Lithub, The Poetry Foundation, and Psychology Today. Their latest novel Bird Suit is published with Invisible Publishing, and their essay collection Bad Kids is forthcoming with Invisible in Fall 2025. They live with their husband and French Bulldog on Treaty 13 Land (Toronto, Canada).

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