H Is for Hawk (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

There’s hardly a subject more universal than the loss of a loved one. One of the biggest challenges of literature is finding an approach that feels vital and new, a way of examining such a monumental topic without falling into the tired and the trite. Helen Macdonald’s incredible memoir, H IS FOR HAWK, feels like something new and important, and without even trying to be.

After the unexpected death of her father, Macdonald falls into a depression. She picks up falconry, a lifelong passion, is picked up again when she adopts Mabel, a young goshawk. Her own story is set against that of TH White (a falconer and author of THE SWORD IN THE STONE).  I have little if any interest in hawks and falconry: the magic of this book is that it doesn’t matter. The language and intelligence of Macdonald’s writing sweeps the reader away. H IS FOR HAWK contains some of the most beautiful writing about nature I’ve ever read. It also describes depression, the English countryside, history and the unspoken relationship between human beings and nature. It is both an elegy and a celebration. I can’t recommend this book highly enough. 

— From Mark recommends...

March '15 Indie Next List

“This is a superbly crafted memoir, incredibly original in its depth and visceral impact. The author swings back and forth between her own desire to train a goshawk and her research of that same need documented by T.H. White. Self-deprecating humor vies with wonder and grief as Macdonald manages to make the reader see, hear, and feel every aspect of this incredible journey. A marvelous read.”
— Karen Frank, Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, VT


One of the New York Times Book Review's 10 Best Books of the Year

One of Slate's 50 Best Nonfiction Books of the Last 25 Years

ON MORE THAN 25 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR LISTS: including TIME (#1 Nonfiction Book), NPR, O, The Oprah Magazine (10 Favorite Books), Vogue (Top 10), Vanity Fair, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Seattle Times, San Francisco Chronicle (Top 10), Miami Herald, St. Louis Post Dispatch, Minneapolis Star Tribune (Top 10), Library Journal (Top 10), Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Slate, Shelf Awareness, Book Riot, Amazon (Top 20)

The instant New York Times bestseller and award-winning sensation, Helen Macdonald's story of adopting and raising one of nature's most vicious predators has soared into the hearts of millions of readers worldwide. Fierce and feral, her goshawk Mabel's temperament mirrors Helen's own state of grief after her father's death, and together raptor and human "discover the pain and beauty of being alive" (People). H Is for Hawk is a genre-defying debut from one of our most unique and transcendent voices.

About the Author

Helen Macdonald is a writer, poet, illustrator and naturalist, and an affiliated research scholar at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge. She is the author of the bestselling H Is for Hawk, as well as a cultural history of falcons, titled Falcon, and three collections of poetry, including Shaler's Fish. Macdonald was a Research Fellow at Jesus College, Cambridge, has worked as a professional falconer, and has assisted with the management of raptor research and conservation projects across Eurasia. She now writes for the New York Times Magazine. Twitter: @HelenJMacdonald
Product Details
ISBN: 9780802123411
ISBN-10: 0802123414
Publisher: Grove Press
Publication Date: March 3rd, 2015
Pages: 288
Language: English