I found myself underlining something on nearly every page of this slim volume—Lanham’s distinctive voice sings with awe of the natural world and clear-eyed candor of the obstacles a Black man faces in engaging this awe. Here is a writer who can perfectly express the emotive effect of a wood thrush’s 3-part song, someone who finds joy the exuberance of wrens, someone who finds solace in (and solidarity with) winged beings. This is a beautiful, necessary book.
Sparrow Envy by J. Drew Lanham (List Price: $16, Hub City Press, 9781938235818, 4/13/2021)
Reviewed by Hannah DeCamp, Avid Bookshop in Athens, Georgia