Rebecca K. O’Connor has published essays in South Dakota Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, Los Angeles Times Magazine, West, divide, and Narrative. She was a Pushcart nominee for the 2008 prize. Her novel, Falcon;s Return (Avalon Books 2002) was a Holt Medallion finalist for best first novel and she has published numerous reference books on the natural world. She has an MFA in creative writing and writing for the performing arts from the University of California, Riverside.
As a professional animal trainer, O’Connor has worked with a variety of exotic animals in zoos and private facilities around the United States and abroad. She has been a falconer for more than a decade and is a nationally known parrot behaviorist. Her book A Parrot for Life: Raising and Training the Perfect Parrot Companion was published in 2007 by TFH. She is also a nationally sought-after lecturer at parrot clubs and parrot festivals.
In all of her work, O’Connor strives to illuminate or foil the human condition through the animals that surround us. Whether it is to give a science-based lecture, write a serious how-to book, or crafting deeply personal prose, the foundation of everything in her life is a love for animals. She hopes that her life’s work will help people understand the animals (including other humans) that surround them and relish their relationships.
Publication Date: November 1, 2009
The culmination of a ten-year career in falconry, Lift is a memoir that illustrates the journey and life lessons of a woman navigating a man’s ancient sport. Captivated by a chance meeting with a falconer’s peregrine as a child, the indelible memory eventually brings the author’s life full circle to flying a peregrine of her own. Exploring themes of predator and prey, finding tribe, forgiveness and femininity, the memoir asks universal questions through a unique backdrop. Lift illustrates the beauty and meaning the sport of falconry can add to a falconer’s life, echoing the challenges and triumphs of being human.