In 1963, being different can be illegal-as sixteen-year-old Latisha, a lesbian runaway, discovers when she is sentenced to treatment in the locked ward of a mental hospital for being "incorrigible" and a threat to society. Her best friend in the ward is Anna, an older deaf woman committed for depression. Although she's forbidden to communicate in sign language, Anna teaches Latisha and gives her a name: "Bird-Eyes." Their growing friendship and their alliance against the hospital oppression forms a bond that is the catalyst for Latisha's eventual act of defiance. A brilliant novel of friendship and defiance, of passion and resistance.