2012 da Vinci Eye Award Winner from the Eric Hoffer Award
The Plume Hunter follows the life of Fin McFaddin, a late-nineteenth century Oregon outdoorsman who takes to plume hunting – killing birds to collect feathers for women’s hats – to support his widowed mother. In 1885, more than five million birds were killed in the United States for the millinery industry, prompting the formation of the Audubon Society.
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Renée Thompson writes about wildlife, her love of birds, and the people who inhabit the American West. Her first novel, The Bridge at Valentine, received high praise from Pulitzer Prize-winner Larry McMurtry, author of Lonesome Dove. Renée lives in Northern California with her husband, Steve, and is at work on a short story collection.
Praise for The Plume Hunter
“…a fascinating glimpse into the life of a bird hunter and the complex social, economic and personal issues swirling around the birth of the conservation movement.”
—David Sibley, author of The Sibley Guide to Birds
“…Renée Thompson’s gripping novel transports the reader to a time when our nation was trying its best to grow up, yet seemed mired in its own awkward “teen” years…I read this book in one sitting, finding it no easier to put down than Fin did his hunting guns.”
—Bill Thompson, III, Editor, Bird Watcher’s Digest
“…Renée Thompson brings us to a place of semi-darkness, with its confused emotions, and allows us to witness the “Hunter” changing from within. This is a story of process and a quest to redeem.”
—Fr. Tom Pincelli, Former Chairman, American Birding Association
“Renée Thompson’s novel The Plume Hunter paints a vivid portrait of the bad old days of the feather trade, when market gunners slaughtered stately wading birds by the tens of thousands to decorate women’s hats. A compelling chronicle of avarice, betrayal, and redemption.”
—Tim Gallagher, author of The Grail Bird
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