Singing Lessons for the Stylish Canary
Singing Lessons for the Stylish Canary is a nineteenth-century fable that will appeal to fans of Chocolat and The Invention of Hugo Cabret.
In sunny Mireville, France, Henri Blanchard grows up in his legendary father Georges’s shadow. Georges is a master serinette craftsman, building high-pitched barrel organs to train songbirds to sing human melodies—and village lore credits him with chasing off the clouds. Henri, alas, prefers making bobbin lace with the local girls to the workshop he’s supposed to inherit. But when he discovers a secret trove of letters that reveal a prodigy half-brother in America, his efforts to impress his father become increasingly outlandish—and ultimately dangerous.
Populated with strong women and one odd young man who doesn’t fit into the box society has chosen for him, Singing Lessons for the Stylish Canary is about finding your place in the world—even if it’s all the way across the ocean.
Publisher: Lanternfish Press
Publication Date: April 19, 2022
"A coming of age fable about an entire family line—with a patriarch who may affect the weather and a son who can sometimes raise the dead—Stanfill’s story of the serinette makers of a small French village bursts with life."
—Michelle Ruiz Keil, author of Summer in the City of Roses
"Every turn of this intricate music box produces heartache and wonder.”
—Eli Brown, author of Cinnamon and Gunpowder
"Equal parts hero's journey, French farce, feminist manifesto, and music lesson, Laura Stanfill's Singing Lessons for the Stylish Canary is a bird’s-eye view of how rule-breakingly imaginative a modern novel can be."
—Robert Hill, author of The Remnants
"The writing is whimsical but transcends whimsy. The story is magical but transcends magic. Laura Stanfill's Singing Lessons for the Stylish Canary is deceptively delightful, exploring real-world themes of connection, loss, feminism, death, and identity, all wrapped up in lyrical language, bountiful cleverness, and endless wit. Resplendent and transcendent."
—Gigi Little, bookseller, Powell’s Books
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Once upon a time, Laura Stanfill lived in a New Jersey house filled with music boxes, street organs, and books. She grew up to become the publisher of Forest Avenue Press. Her work has appeared in Shondaland, The Rumpus, Catapult, The Vincent Brothers Review, Santa Fe Writers Project, and several print anthologies. She believes in indie bookstores and wishes on them like stars from her home in Portland, Oregon, where she resides with her family and Waffles the dog.
Tags: Adult, Historical Fiction, Literary, Magical Realism