Award-winning multimedia artist and former stand-up comedian Deena Goldstein pens her debut memoir “OK, Little Bird”. Deena’s artwork has been featured in solo and collective exhibitions, receiving numerous honors for her original acrylics. Now “Little Bird” shares the unique, irreverent and touching relationship with her quirky, loveable cowboy father. Deena’s flair for humor and all things offbeat makes this book a memorable debut.
OK, Little Bird
In the world of Little Bird, three siblings experience the same father differently. Navigating stringent rules, cantankerous family dinners, unfiltered commentaries, and lots of love, OK, Little Bird takes the reader on a bouncy ride from laughter to tears.
Everything is funny till a seemingly invincible father succumbs to a terminal illness amidst the Covid19 pandemic. Little Bird sets out to make things ok for her father one last time. Through a lifetime of wry banter, voicemails, letters and bad gifts, fly with Little Bird as she learns that even in the worst of times, the gem of laughter is the best coping tool of all.
In a group home, nestled in a residential Scottsdale neighborhood, Little Bird holds the unresponsive hand of her bigger-than-life father. This is the first time in her life she is helpless to make her father laugh or feel good. The youngest of three, once the freckle-faced, shrill little girl, she becomes Little Bird six weeks prior to her father’s death. This remarkable memoir takes the reader on a poignant ride of her father's untouchable powder keg personality. Untouchable for everyone, except Little Bird. Through their journey of stories, letters, and voicemails, this unshakable bond will stand the test when her father receives a terminal diagnosis, amidst the unthinkable backdrop of the Covid 19 pandemic. With visiting miniature horses and vanilla milkshakes along the way, Little Bird becomes a monomaniac on a mission to make everything ok for her father one last time.
How does one preserve the memory of a dearly beloved soul without time eventually blurring their image and the sweet moments of their close encounters? Deena Goldstein answers this question with OK, LITTLE BIRD, her deeply moving and inspirational account of the special bond that she shared with her father. With the deftness and sensitivity of the fine artist that she is, Goldstein records the vignettes of a lifetime with her father. She knows of colors and textures and applies to the written page, as if it were her canvas, a carefully and caringly drawn portrait of the perfect imperfect man that was her father. A man whose upbringing defined him; whose sense of order, discipline, and judgmentalism could be maddening; who loved horses and anecdotes; and reserved beneath his stern veneer an unwavering affection for his family. The book is a lesson in how to remember and to do so honestly.
But there is more in this book than a devotional to a parent. The artist paints straight to the edges of her canvas and folds in multiple layers of narrative. For the book is as well the story of a family as a whole ~ the sibling relationships and the steadfast devotion of their mother. It is too a testament to the heartbreaking ordeal and trial of death and dying in the time of COVID.
And yet in the end, laced with equal amounts of wit and grief, OK LITTLE BIRD sings with optimism and hope and the recognition that death is not the last word.
~Herb Paine, Theater and Film Critic