Feeding the Eagles

“She gets up and goes quietly into the bedroom to see if her grandmother is all right. If only she would find her dead, gone off peacefully in her sleep. But she is only sleeping, her mouth open, her hook nose emitting the belabored sound of breath. Miriam bends closer, to see what the eye will see: the blackheads of her nose, the white hairs sprouting from her chin, the worn silk of skin. And with her hair bound in curlers her face is all the more exposed. Miriam realizes she hardly knows what her grandmother looks like she is so used to her. The sight of her naked face now is as awesome to Miriam as some ancient artifact she might see in a museum, and as familiar as a glass of milk.”

Feeding the Eagles is about loyalty and honesty, attachment to people and place, love and the inevitable losses of life. The eleven inter-related stories feature Miriam Batson, a native Southerner transplanted to the Midwest through marriage, as she confronts and comes to terms with the shifting ground of her life. Each of the stories is carried by a rich and mature narrative voice, infused with wry humor and the power of keen observation.

Readers' Responses to "Feeding the Eagles"

“In Feeding the Eagles, Paulette Bates Alden makes a debut that shows her as a subtle and accomplished writer…. She never tears a passion to tatters, and yet almost every story is a high tension line of emotion…”
— Wallace Stegner


“Paulette Bates Alden’s writing is honest, penetrating, and quietly wise…. Alden refuses to reach for effect, but insists instead on the emotions and meaning that reify small moments and everyday life.”
— Scott Turow


“In their stately flow, these tales are quietly effective.”
— Publishers Weekly

“Throw in a few transitions and Feeding the Eagles, a first collection of short stories by Paulette Bates Alden, could easily be a novel. That’s how tightly woven the 11 stories are. Yet by sticking to short stories, Ms. Alden – a native of South Carolina now living in Minneapolis and teaching at the University of Minnesota – is able to vary the mood and the outlook of her tales, making this a nimble yet multilayered look at the trade-offs necessary to become an adult”
— David Dawson, New York Times Book Review


“…a wise and insightful collection of short fiction… This is a book about becoming, and it deals in simple, charged language with the complex nature of human growth, and the raw, necessary forms of death from which new life must emerge.”
— Natalie Kusz, in The Minnesota Women’s Press