H is for Hawk: The Sunday Times bestseller and Costa and Samuel Johnson Prize Winner (Paperback)
  • H is for Hawk: The Sunday Times bestseller and Costa and Samuel Johnson Prize Winner (Paperback)
zoom

H is for Hawk: The Sunday Times bestseller and Costa and Samuel Johnson Prize Winner (Paperback)

(author)
£10.99
Paperback 320 Pages
Published: 26/02/2015
  • 10+ in stock

Usually dispatched within 2-3 working days

  • This item has been added to your basket
Waterstones Says

An audacious comingling of genres that reinvigorated the nature writing field, H is for Hawk recounts a year in the author’s life as she comes to terms with the loss of her father and trains a young goshawk.   

Winner of the Costa Book of the Year

Winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction

'I can't remember the last time a book made me feel so many different things in such quick succession.' - Rachel Cooke, The Guardian 

As a child, Helen Macdonald was determined to become a falconer, learning the arcane terminology and reading all the classic books. Years later, when her father died and she was struck deeply by grief, she became obsessed with the idea of training her own goshawk.

She bought Mabel for £800 on a Scottish quayside and took her home to Cambridge, ready to embark on the long, strange business of trying to train this wildest of animals.

H is for Hawk is an unflinchingly honest account of Macdonald's struggle with grief during the difficult process of the hawk's taming and her own untaming.

This is a book about memory, nature and nation, and how it might be possible to reconcile death with life and love.

Publisher: Vintage Publishing
ISBN: 9780099575450
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 258 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 20 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

It just sings. I couldn’t stop reading. - Mark Haddon

This beautiful book is at once heartfelt and clever in the way it mixes elegy with celebration: elegy for a father lost, celebration of a hawk found - and in the finding also a celebration of countryside, forbears of one kind and another, life-in-death. At a time of very distinguished writing about the relationship between human kind and the environment, it is immediately pre-eminent. - Andrew Motion

H is for Hawk is a dazzling piece of work: deeply affecting, utterly fascinating and blazing with love and intelligence… The result is a deeply human work shot through…with intelligence and compassion… I will be surprised if a better book than H is for Hawk is published this year. - Melissa Harrison, Financial Times

I'm convinced it's going to be an absolute classic of nature writing. - Nick Barley, Guardian

I can't remember the last time a book made me feel so many different things in such quick succession. - Rachel Cooke, Guardian

[Macdonald’s] descriptive writing, startlingly and devilishly precise…is only the half of it. She has written her taming of Mabel like a thriller, slowly and carefully cranking the tension is that your stomach and heart leap queasily towards each other… Captivates. - Rachel Cooke, Observer

Captivating… There is a highly polished brilliance to her writing. The English-speaking world has an old passion for books about creatures and captivating companions … Helen Macdonald looks set to revive the genre. - Guardian, Mark Cocker

Nature-writing, but not as you know it. Astounding. - Bookseller

It is a mark of Macdonald’s achievement that so exultant a book can resolve itself in a sense of failure, yet leave the reader as uplifted as a raptor riding on a thermal. - Philip Hoare, New Statesman

MacDonald’s prose is poetic, forensic, yet often capable of quickening the pulse. Her lexicon…is vivid and joyous, soaring as freely as birds do. - Benjamin Myers, New Scientist

One of the most eloquent accounts of bereavement you could hope to read… A grief memoir with wings. - Caroline Sanderson, Bookseller

What she has achieved is a very rare thing in literature - a completely realistic account of a human relationship with animal consciousness… It is a soaring performance and Mabel is the star. - John Carey, Sunday Times

Cunningly plaited and – almost – devastating… It deserves to sell shedloads and win prizes, it is naturalist writing of that spectacular quality that is literature too. - Angus Clarke, The Times

A wondrous book of loss and recovery… When [Macdonald] matches her factual know-how…with her poet’s eye, it is excellent… An exceptional book of twisted growth. - Tim Dee, National

Absorbing… This memoir is lit with flashes of that grace, a grace that sweeps down to the reader to hold her wrist tight with beautiful, terrible class. The discovery of the season. - Erica Wagner, The Economist

Astounding. - Bookseller

People talk about books that change your life. I loved the fact that this book does something much more valuable. It doesn’t change anything. It leaves everything just where it was, only more so; more distinct, more itself. It opens your eyes. And it deepens what we have always known; that we live side by side with each other, as we do with the creatures around us. - Laura Beatty, Caught by the River

A talon-sharp memoir that will thrill and chill you to the bone... Fascinating. - Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday

Mesmerising, decisive and devastating… Her description of Mabel in flight should be etched into every birdwatcher's field guide... Macdonald is a nature writer supreme, arguably the best practitioner of this art form writing today. - Stuart Winter, Sunday Express

A soaring triumph. - Christian House, Daily Telegraph

You may also be interested in...

A Flat Place
Added to basket
£10.99   £9.49
Paperback
By the River
Added to basket
£9.99   £8.49
Paperback
Ten Birds That Changed the World
Added to basket
£10.99   £9.49
Paperback
The Golden Mole
Added to basket
£10.99   £8.99
Paperback
The Lost Rainforests of Britain
Added to basket
£10.99   £9.49
Paperback
RSPB Pocket Guide to British Birds
Added to basket
The Wild Silence
Added to basket
£10.99
Paperback
The Rising Down
Added to basket
£25.00   £21.99
Hardback
Braiding Sweetgrass
Added to basket
The Hidden Life of Trees
Added to basket
The Year of Sitting Dangerously
Added to basket
Food For Free
Added to basket
£6.99
Paperback
Bitch
Added to basket
£10.99
Paperback
The Observant Walker
Added to basket
£12.99   £10.99
Paperback
The Forager's Calendar
Added to basket
Sarn Helen
Added to basket
£10.99   £9.49
Paperback
George
Added to basket
£10.99
Paperback

“Enlightening”

I have to confess, that I do not read a lot of nature writing and only the odd biography, and I can’t even say that I’m particularly keen on birds (except for penguins and small owls), but I thought I’d at least read... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 139

“A beautiful example of nature writing”

This is nature writing at its best, as it shows us both the effect that a wild creature can have on a human and the effect a human can have on a wild creature (whether good or bad). Following the death of her father,... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 95

“A Classic!”

This is a superbly written and moving book with the author expressing the raw emotions of grief so eloquently. The author’s passion of the subject matter is clear from her descriptions of her training her goshawk... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 93

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.

env: aptum
branch: