Best of 2014 – We Are Judged by Our Plumage

It’s time to honor another great story that was a serious contender for Editor’s Choice but didn’t quite make it. Even though it lost out by a slim margin, it’s still an easy pick for our Best of 2014 list. How could we not love a story where an ostrich follows a guy around his entire life?

We’re talking about We Are Judged by Our Plumage, by Rhoads Brazos.

We love a story with layers, and this one delivers. On the surface, it’s enjoyable just as an absurdist, surreal story about a guy with an ostrich. But there’s so much more if you look deeper. The birds quickly become more than unusual; they become metaphors for the descriptions we take upon ourselves, and in an instant this completely goofy and unreal tale becomes painfully relevant to our birdless lives.

We’re nearing the end of our Best of 2014 retrospective. Stay tuned for our favorite story of all last year, and revisit the other stories we’ve highlighted from 2014.

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