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George: A Magpie Memoir (Paperback)
  • George: A Magpie Memoir (Paperback)
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George: A Magpie Memoir (Paperback)

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Paperback 272 Pages
Published: 21/03/2024
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Waterstones Says

Exquisitely crafted by the poet and columnist, George recounts Hughes' unexpected role nursing an injured magpie chick back to health and the bond that she formed with her unruly avian companion.

An Oprah Magazine Book of the Year 2023

'A magical, endearing memoir ... the literary romance of the year' Oprah

'This book pulses with a defiant wonder at the living world, as wild and unruly as our feathered hero' Polly Morland, author of A Fortunate Woman

Then, just in time, before I swung the spade again, I saw, right by the blade and camouflaged by the leaves on the ground, a magpie chick. It squatted belligerently, peering up at me with miniature magpie fury. George.

When Frieda Hughes moved to the depths of the Welsh countryside, she was expecting to take on a few projects: planting a garden, painting and writing her poetry column for the Times. But instead, she found herself rescuing a baby magpie, the sole survivor of a nest destroyed in a storm - and embarking on an obsession that would change the course of her life.

As the magpie, George, grows from a shrieking scrap of feathers and bones into an intelligent, unruly companion, Frieda finds herself captivated - and apprehensive of what will happen when the time comes to finally set him free.

Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781800814806
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 219 g
Dimensions: 196 x 126 x 22 mm
Edition: Main


MEDIA REVIEWS

A magical, endearing memoir of her relationship with a baby bird she rescued and raised in her kitchen. The improbable relationship between the unruly and intelligent magpie George and the witty Hughes is the literary romance of the year - Oprah

This poignant memoir of love and letting go is a beautiful celebration of the bond between bird and human - Daily Mail

Intriguing ... tremendous ... accomplished - Spectator

Charming - Independent

Thoughtful and deeply moving - Literary Review

Quirky, tender, funny, beautifully observed - Daily Mail

Delightful - Oldie

Candid ... interspersed with poems and homely sketches of George, Hughes's memoir has an enveloping quality to it that brings us inside the lively world she created for herself - Irish Independent

Funny, tender ... beautiful and fascinating - Esther Woolfson, author, Corvus

A poignantly heart-warming delight ... illustrated throughout with pen-and-ink drawings, this charming memoir about the author's accidental adventures in avian rescue offers tantalizing insights into her struggle to fly free - Kirkus

A charming diary of life with a tame magpie - despite George's bad behaviour, it will render corvid lovers (like me) green with envy! - Katherine May, author, Wintering

There is an astringent beauty to Frieda Hughes' George. It's one of those books that appears to be about one thing-in this case, hand-rearing the eponymous orphan magpie-whilst being about something altogether more profound: love, loss and how inextricably linked they are. Love comes alive in Hughes' pages as an act of acute attentiveness. Loss lingers in the margins, but George doesn't baulk at the shadows. Instead, this book pulses with a defiant wonder at the living world, as wild and unruly as our feathered hero. - Polly Morland, author, A Fortunate Woman: A Country Doctor's Story

Reading this book was like coming home. You'll be transported to Frieda's kitchen table in Wales, where she'll tell you her moving and funny story over a steaming mug of tea - three dogs on her lap - and a magpie perched on her head. Yet more proof - if it were needed - of how connecting to the wildlife around us has the power to put our troubles into perspective, teach us lessons about life, and provide solace for a bruised soul. Curl up in a comfy chair, make yourself a large pot of tea, and immerse yourself in the world of Frieda and George. You won't regret it - Charlie Corbett, author, 12 Birds to Save Your Life: Nature's Lessons in Happiness

George the magpie trashes the author's house, terrifies the cleaning lady, and helps tank her failing marriage--and yet you cannot help falling madly in love with him. Frieda Hughes observes this little black and white bird with the meticulous eye of a naturalist and the penetrating lyricism and of a poet. This book is a joy from beginning to end - Sy Montgomery, author, The Soul of an Octopus

With irresistible humour and heart, Frieda invites us along on her unlikely journey toward joy and connection ... you will fall in love with wildlife - OX Magazine

Direct and painfully honest ... an irresistible memoir - Martina Evans, Irish Times

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Paperback

“A rescued magpie becomes the focus of attention.”

Presented in diary form, this tale of a rescued magpie includes both poetry and illustrations by the author. It’s one of those books that I thought I would really enjoy, and that was true enough for the first seventy... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 12

“Charming”

Occasionally repetitive, but always engaging, any animal lover will find much to adore or enjoy in 'George'.

I didn't realise the author was the daughter of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes until I began... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 8

“A love of birds”

Based on diary entries written between 2007 and 2009, this beautiful little edition tells the story of George, a baby magpie that Frieda Hughes found and raised until his departure. This was during a move into, and... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 8

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