Prairie Ostrich

Prairie OstrichBy Tamai Kobayashi

In 1974 Bittercreek, Alberta, eight-year-old Egg Murakami lives a day-to-day existence on the family ostrich farm. Since her brother’s death, Egg’s mother has curled up inside a bottle and her father has exiled himself to the barn. Egg and big sister Kathy find solace in each other, Kathy reading books to Egg, reinventing them so that the stories end happily — and so that the world does not seem so awful. And Kathy, in love with her best friend, has her own problems.

The Murakami family is not happy. But in the hands of Tamai Kobayashi, Prairie Ostrich is a warm and compelling drama of rare insight and virtuoso verve. Kobayashi introduces a fresh perspective to Canadian literature, blending physical, cultural, ancestral, and sexual isolation into an account of one girl’s attempt to find her place against schoolyard battles and the mysteries of the adult world.

As Kathy’s last year in high school counts down to an unknown future, Egg sits a quiet witness against a vast prairie canvas. As she watches her family unravel, she slowly begins to realize that not every story can have a happy ending.

Available in the museum shop. $19.95