Tuco and the Scattershot World by Brian Brett Book PDF Summary
The acclaimed author’s memoir of life with an African grey parrot offers “a thoughtful and generous celebration of minds and bodies different from our own” (Times Literary Supplement, UK). For thirty years, Brian Brett shared his office and his life with Tuco, a remarkable parrot given to asking questions such as “Whaddya know?” and announcing “Party time!” when guests showed up at Brett’s farm. Although Brett bought Tuco on a whim, he gradually realized the enormous obligation he has to his pet, learning that the parrot is far more complex than he thought. In Tuco and the Scattershot World, Brett not only chronicles his fascinating relationship with Tuco, but uses it to explore the human tendency to “other” the world, abusing birds, landscapes, and each other. Brett sees in Tuco’s otherness a mirror of his own experience contending with Kallman syndrome, a rare genetic condition that made him the target of bullies—and nurtured his affinity for winged creatures. Brett’s meditative digressions touch on topics ranging from the history of birds and dinosaurs to our concepts of knowledge, language, and intelligence—and include commentary from Tuco himself. By turns provocative and deeply moving, Tuco and the Scattershot World “is not a straight memoir—it’s something much more wondrously weird . . . a view of the human predicament that is hilarious, sobering and profound” (Globe & Mail, UK).