Where the Crawdads Sing

by Delia Owens

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Why does the book Where the Crawdads Sing have this title?

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A "crawdad" is a colloquial name for a crayfish, which despite its name isn't actually a fish; it's a freshwater crustacean that resembles a lobster. Where the Crawdads Sing is set in the wild, untamed marshlands of North Carolina, where we can be sure that many of these creatures live. Crayfish "sing" in that they emit loud clicking noises, which are used to attract a mate or ward off territorial rivals.

It's not just crayfish which live out in the North Carolina marshlands; Kya does too. Ever since her dad abandoned her, she's had to eke out a hardscrabble existence here all on her own, learning to survive on her wits. The title of the book immediately gives us a sense of place, putting us right in the middle of this strange but beautiful environment, which is as much a character in the story as Kya herself.

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