Scott Simon appreciates fortuity. As a Peabody-winning correspondent who for thirty years reported on events from Afghanistan to El Salvador, Simon values those rare instances of “right place, right time” serendipity that spangle the careers of industrious journalists. HENRY experienced not one, but two such moments in filming the host of NPR’s Saturday Weekend Edition. First, Simon—visiting NYC on business—reserved an hour to read from his debut novel Pretty Birds. And what artwork adorned Simon’s Brooklyn hotel room during the shoot? A mural of technicolor parrots. The painting might have been a portrait of Pretty Bird, the beloved pet that in this passage Simon’s Serbian protagonist Irena must release, with hopes that it will survive her Sarajevo’s siege in the care of her oppressors.