Ha Jin, "A Composer And His Parakeets"

She’s off shooting a movie; he’s left to mind the bird.

(from Zoetrope All-Story, Fall 2006)

The bird, Bori, is an enigmatic and captivating little thing, part symbiotic partner, part guardian angel. He understands more than most birds, is more loyal, knows which people need to be pooped on. It’s a charming story with Bori on your shoulder. For the sort of cuckolded boyfriend left behind, Bori is a harbinger every moment of inspiration (and perhaps every instance of writer’s block). Cool stuff.
The issue was designed by Chip Kidd, using the photos of cut-up books by Thomas M. Allen. It’s the best looking ZAS yet. Check out what this story looked like. That said, the sudden inclusion of nonfiction stories in the issue was fine except they were unmarked. This bugged a power-fiction-reader like myself.

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