Featherhood (Paperback)Charlie Gilmour (author)
Life, family and the echoes of generations examined through the prism of a love affair with birds, in this breathtakingly assured memoir.
Shortlisted for the Wainwright Prize for Nature Writing 2021
'Wonderful - I can't recommend it too highly.' - Helen Macdonald, author of H is For Hawk
This is a story about birds and fathers.
About the young magpie that fell from its nest in a Bermondsey junkyard into Charlie Gilmour's life - and swiftly changed it. Demanding worms around the clock, riffling through his wallet, sharing his baths and roosting in his hair...
About the jackdaw kept at a Cornish stately home by Heathcote Williams, anarchist, poet, magician, stealer of Christmas, and Charlie's biological father who vanished from his life in the dead of night.
It is a story about repetition across generations and birds that run in the blood; about a terror of repeating the sins of the father and a desire to build a nest of one's own.
It is a story about change - from wild to tame; from sanity to madness; from life to death to birth; from freedom to captivity and back again, via an insane asylum, a prison and a magpie's nest.
And ultimately, it is the story of a love affair between a man and a magpie.
Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 260 g
Dimensions: 198 x 126 x 24 mm
'Featherhood is one of the best books I've ever read. I urge you to seek it out, buy it, and be enchanted. It's incredibly moving and I loved every single page.' - Elton John
'The best piece of nature writing since H is for Hawk, and the most powerful work of biography I have read in years. It announces Charlie Gilmour as a major new writing talent.' - Neil Gaiman
'Wonderful - I can't recommend it too highly.' - Helen Macdonald
'Beautiful, wise, compassionate and powerful, Featherhood is one of those rare, enchanted books that sings to the soul of what it is to be' - Isabella Tree
'What a book! I was entranced. A personal reckoning which is simultaneously brutal and joyous. It's full of light. I want to tell everyone about it' - Cathy Rentzenbrink
'Featherhood is an incisive, funny and at times traumatic study of the damage done by destructive father-son relationships and the struggle to smash generational cycles.' - Evening Standard
'An affecting and beautifully written memoir.' - The Bookseller
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ReviewsView all Sign In To Write A Review
I bought this book after hearing the author talking about the book on Radio Sussex. It is very funny , sad and uplifting all at the same time. Beautifully written and I raced to the end hoping for a happy out come... More
There is so much to praise in this beautiful work. Charlie Gilmour's journalism has always been utterly sharp and incisive. This is that and more so - it is at times raw and at the same time heart warming. The... More
“A marvellous melding of memoir & natural history”
Featherhood by Charlie Gilmour is a remarkable combination of memoir & nature writing. Either element on its own would make for a fascinating read, yet together, they merge to form one of the very best books... More
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