Amanda Bird

Amanda Bird lives on two acres outside Eugene, Oregon, with her husband and daughter. Thirteen chickens and six pigeons round out the household.

At age twenty-one Amanda found herself teaching English to Afghans in Pakistan, equipped with a six-week orientation, a degree in journalism, four years of Spanish, and two years of Japanese. (Wait—they speak Urdu here?) Studying the Persian language spoken by her students didn’t help her buy mangos in the market. But it did serve her well when, in 2001, she wound up in Tajikistan with her husband for a two-year stint with an aid organization.

One spring day in Dushanbe, Amanda stood in the bazaar contemplating a book table. “Which one should I buy?” she asked the bookseller.

The woman across the table seized on a paperback with two children running across the cover. “This one.”

The book selected with such decision turned out to be a Tajik folklorist’s memoir of boyhood in the 1920s. Amanda was convinced his charming stories encapsulating Tajik culture should be translated for English-speaking readers. Four years later she and her husband returned to Tajikistan for four months to do graduate research, during which time she translated a substantial portion of the memoir for her master’s in comparative literature from the University of Oregon.

Four years later, with a preschooler under foot, Amanda took a break from freelance editing to operate a secondhand book business. The company of so many books and authors inspired her to return to her childhood past-time of writing fiction. Thus, many incarnations later, was born her historical novel Persian Tumblers, set in 1908 the Tajik folklorist’s home town of Uro Teppa (now Istaravshan).


Most Recent Project: Persian Tumblers (publisher pending)


Represented by: Pete Ford