William J. Cobb

This author appeared at the 2012 festival. Please view the list of authors appearing at this year's festival or see our suggestions for similar authors below.

William J. Cobb at the 2012  Texas Book Festival

William J. Cobb's atmospheric, unforgettable novel The Bird Saviors depicts a small Colorado town, ravaged by a second dust bowl and plagued by an epidemic of bird flu. There lives Ruby Cole, a young, unwed mother who flees from her domineering father to escape a marriage to a man with two wives. Her decision leads to a spiderweb of events that alter the lives of such characters as Ward Costello, an ornithologist grieving for his wife and daughter, and George Armstrong Crowfoot, a taciturn animal control officer, among others. In a world where human interaction is hampered by paranoia, and Nuisance Animal destroyers kill any animal that might facilitate the infection, Ruby fights tooth and nail to return to her daughter with a determination nothing short of poetic. Cobb has written two previous novels, including the acclaimed Goodnight, Texas, as well as a book of short stories. His short fiction has been published in The New Yorker and other magazines, and has received such awards as the National Endowment for the Arts grant, a Dobie-Paisano Fellowship, and the Sandstone Prize. He reviews books for the Dallas Morning News, the Houston Chronicle, and The New York Times, and directs the MFA program at Penn State. Raised in Texas, he currently lives in Pennsylvania and Colorado. Cobb previously appeared at the 2006 Festival.

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