A memoir
about glasses,
glass ceilings,
and a glass half full.

If you loved Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, you’ll absolutely cheer for real-life Barbi Prim. 

In Catbird: The Ballad of Barbi Prim, the world meets an insightful 8-year-old who has already taken a few steps toward becoming a pioneer—but also a shadow of her quirky self.

Though she didn’t learn to ride a bike until she was twelve and never did learn to climb to the top of the rope in gym, at seventeen she innocently cracked through a stained glass ceiling and was admitted to Hebrew Union College’s School of Sacred Music. At age twenty-two she became the first woman ordained as a cantor in 3,000 years of Jewish history, but foolishly turned down an invitation to appear on What’s My Line?

Nevertheless she persisted, serving for more than twenty-seven years as cantor of congregations in Clifton, New Jersey, and in Great Neck, Rochester, and Buffalo, New York, and then for ten years as the placement director of the American Conference of Cantors.

Download the one page title information sheet here

About the book

What they’re saying about
Catbird: The Ballad of Barbi Prim

  • “Extraordinarily powerful.”

    —Rabbi Sally Priesand
    America’s first female rabbi, and Rabbi Emerita of Monmouth Reform Temple, Tinton Falls, NJ
  • “Funny, heartbreaking, and yet bursting with hope.”

    —Helen Aronoff, M.D.
    Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist with Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center
  • “Celebrates the sweetness of hard-won self-acceptance.”

    —Lois Weis, Ph.D.
    State University of New York Distinguished Professor, and coauthor of Class Warfare: Class, Race, and College Admissions in Top-Tier Secondary Schools
  • “[The] style—wit, humor, pathos, etc.—reminds me of the brilliant David Sedaris [in The Santaland Diaries]: ‘Oh, little elf, little elf . . .'” 


    Jennifer Bern-Vogel
  • “Joan Rivers would have had a field day with this book. I am.”


    Charlene Goodman
  • “A masterpiece.”


    Michele Fried
  • “Illustrates how people really change—not through adoption of [someone else’s] formula for the good life but through recurrent scrutiny of one’s hang-ups that slowly vaporizes them.”


    Richard Cowan
  • “Go, Barbi, go!!!”


    Laura Croen
  • “We all have stories to tell. Barbara tells them in the most intimate lyrical style.”


    Vicki Axe
  • “Just read the opening page. . . . Already verklempt.”


    Amy Brenner Mitz
  • “I’m sitting in a salad place, before I go meet a student. And I’m reading. And I’m sobbing. And I don’t have my sunglasses.  And people are looking at me as I read my Kindle while wiping my nose with a napkin that says Burger Bar and it’s all wonderful and horrible at the same time.”


    Anonymous Reader
  • “. . . remarkable, poignant, hilarious, brilliant, sobering, charming.”


    Sandie Antar

If you’ve got a book club or study group, we’ve got a guide for you.

Whether you’re rebellious or reserved, vocal or shy, The Ballad of Barbi Prim will strike a chord. 

Below are links to 8 reader’s guides . . . because one size never fits all.

Upcoming Book Tour Events

Get in touch

For media and speaking requests and other book inquiries, please contact: 
Lisa Braun Dubbels, Catalyst Publicity & Promotion Group
+1 612.806.4455
lisa at catalystpublicity.com

Or you can email us directly at : hello@catbirdbook.com

Notice: Clicking "Buy" anywhere on this website redirects you to the site of an independent third-party, which may collect personal or financial 
information from you, and over which we have no control. By clicking "Buy", you acknowledge this notice.