The Missing Page

When Bird Eat Bird was reprinted, something evidently went wrong and an unknown number of faulty copies were released. The formatting goes awry mid-way through the book and has a knock-on effect, culminating in the absence of the last page of the final story.

I only found out about this when a reader in Australia emailed me directly to say she’d bought my book after hearing me read from it at the Sydney Writers’ Festival the previous year. She went on to say she’d enjoyed it, though felt the last story, Tripe and Onions, ended “a bit abruptly” and she tactfully wondered if this were deliberate or if her copy was somehow missing the rest of the story. Believing it to be a bizarre one-off, I emailed her the missing page along with my apologies and forgot about it.

Then, a few months later, I attended an author event where a couple of dozen copies of my book awaited my signature and, to my dismay, they all had the same wonky formatting and missing last page.

How this happened and how many copies were affected remains a mystery, but for anyone who owns a faulty copy of Bird Eat Bird, my profuse apologies and here is the last page of the book’s final story:

In the world of literary fiction, it’s not unusual for short stories to end enigmatically. However, even in the most experimental prose, they don’t tend to end mid-sentence. Were this a murder mystery, perhaps more readers would have noticed the rather “abrupt” ending? – KB