Jacket Image

Enlarge Image

190 × 135 × 15 mm
216 pages
101 illustrations, 77 in colour
01 May 2005

Parrot Paul Carter

Highly illustrated, with images drawn from a wide range of cultures, historical periods and media, Paul Carter’s Parrot is a roller-coaster ride through parrots in literature, jokes, folklore, mythology, film, TV and children’s stories worldwide, as well as an examination of parrot conservation, talking bird experiments and parrot portraiture.

Parrot is a fascinating natural and cultural history. The book covers three broad areas: ‘Parrotics’ - the historical, cultural and scientific classifications of parrots; ‘Parroternalia’ - the association of parrots with the different languages, ages, tastes and dreams of society; and ‘Parrotology' - the mimicry of parrots and what that can tell us about our own systems of communication.

This book differs from previous histories, which have treated parrots as subjects of curiosity and a pretext for elegy. A new kind of animal history, Parrot is philosophical and poetic: it takes seriously the critical and ironic mirror that parrots hold up to human society. Humorously written and wide-ranging in scope, Parrot will have broad appeal, and will be of interest to parrot enthusiasts and specialists, as well as a general readership.

‘Like the others in this series, this paperback is lavishly illustrated with paintings and drawings of parrots, and native depictions of parrots.’ — Grrlscientist, The Guardian

‘These are the latest two books on birds in this beautifully conceived Animal series. . . They represent an in-depth, erudite account of the natural, cultural and miscellaneous histories of these generic birds. Both are very well written, highly informative, full of fascinating details, and richly illustrated with wonderful plates and photographs. The books are arguably some of the most original and accomplished written about animals, and the erudition displayed throughout is impressive’ — Ibis

‘Humans will continue to be fascinated by parrots, whether as symbol, fantasy, or actual birds, and this book provides much to think about . . . Parrot leaves this reader pondering the hubris of humankind in our subjugation of other species, particularly the intelligent and sensitive "primates of the bird world," and perhaps that is its greatest contribution. I predict that most people who have an interest in parrots will want to own this book.’ — Anthrozoös

Show all

Paul Carter is Professorial Research Fellow at The Australian Centre, University of Melbourne, and the author of The Road to Botany Bay (1987), The Lie of the Land (1996), Repressed Spaces: The Poetics of Agoraphobia (Reaktion, 2002) and Parrot (Reaktion, 2006).