Nikki Moustaki

Johanna Lawshea

Nikki Moustaki is the author of twenty-five books on the care and training of exotic birds. She holds an MA in creative writing, poetry, from New York University, an MFA in creative writing, poetry, from Indiana University, and an MFA in creative writing, fiction, from New York University. She has received a National Endowment for the Arts grant in poetry, as well as many other national writing awards.  The Bird Market of Paris: A Memoir (Henry Holt and Co.) begins with Moustaki’s childhood in 1980s Miami, the only child of parents who worked, played, and traveled for luxury sports car dealerships. At home, her doting grandmother cooked for and fed her, but it was her grandfather-an evening-gown designer, riveting storyteller, and bird expert-who was her mentor and dearest companion. By the time Moustaki graduated from college and moved to New York City, she was succumbing to alcohol addiction and  increasingly unable to care for her flock. In a last-ditch effort to honor her grandfather, she flew to France hoping to visit the bird market of Paris to release a white dove. And there, something astonishing happened that saved her life.