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H Is for Hawk.

Author: Helen MacDonald
Publisher: New York : Grove Press / Atlantic Monthly Pres+, 2015.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
* Winner the 2014 Samuel Johnson Prize* #1 Bestseller in the UK* A "Guardian" and "Economist" Best Book of the Year When Helen Macdonald's father died suddenly on a London street, she was devastated. An experienced falconer--Helen had been captivated by hawks since childhood--she'd never before been tempted to train one of the most vicious predators, the goshawk. But in her grief, she saw that the goshawk's fierce
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Genre/Form: Autobiographies
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Helen MacDonald
ISBN: 0802123414 9780802123411
OCLC Number: 927292563
Description: 288 pages

Abstract:

* Winner the 2014 Samuel Johnson Prize* #1 Bestseller in the UK* A "Guardian" and "Economist" Best Book of the Year When Helen Macdonald's father died suddenly on a London street, she was devastated. An experienced falconer--Helen had been captivated by hawks since childhood--she'd never before been tempted to train one of the most vicious predators, the goshawk. But in her grief, she saw that the goshawk's fierce and feral temperament mirrored her own. Resolving to purchase and raise the deadly creature as a means to cope with her loss, she adopted Mabel, and turned to the guidance of "The Once and Future King" author T.H. White's chronicle "The Goshawk" to begin her challenging endeavor. Projecting herself "in the hawk's wild mind to tame her" tested the limits of Macdonald's humanity and changed her life. Heart-wrenching and humorous, this book is an unflinching account of bereavement and a unique look at the magnetism of an extraordinary beast, with a parallel examination of a legendary writer's eccentric falconry. Obsession, madness, memory, myth, and history combine to achieve a distinctive blend of nature writing and memoir from an outstanding literary innovator.

* Winner of the Costa Book Award: "A unique and beautiful book with a searing emotional honesty, and descriptive language that is unparalleled in modern literature." "An inspired, beautiful and absorbing account of a woman battling grief--with a goshawk. . . . Writing with breathless urgency . . . Macdonald broadens her scope well beyond herself to focus on the antagonism between people and the environment. Whether you call this a personal story or nature writing, it's poignant, thoughtful and moving--and likely to become a classic in either genre." --"Kirkus Reviews" (starred) ""H is for Hawk" is a work of great spirit and wonder, illuminated equally by terror and desire. Each beautiful sentence is capable of taking a reader's breath. The book is built of feather and bone, intelligence and blood, and a vulnerability so profound as to conjure that vulnerability's shadow, which is the great power of honesty. It is not just a definitive work on falconry; it is a definitive work on humanity, and all that can and cannot be possessed." --Rick Bass "A lovely touching book about a young woman grieving over the death of her father becoming rejuvenated by training one of the roughest, most difficult creatures in the heavens, the goshawk." --Jim Harrison "In addition to being an excellent memoir of loss and grief, "H is for Hawk" is a wonderful exploration of how birds of prey can function as metaphor to produce art and a roadmap for human lives. Read it and enrich your life." --Dan O'Brien "Rich with the poetry of ideation, the narrative flows through the author's deeply textured story of personal loss like a mountain wind, swirling seamlessly through fields of literature, biology, natural history, and the art of hunting with hawks. Readers might do well to absorb this book a bite at a time--but be prepared for a full meal." --Lynn Schooler "A beautiful book on so many levels. Macdonald fearlessly probes each facet of grief and traverses its wilderness to reach redemption. But most beautiful of all is the complex, layered bond that builds between her and Mabel, her hawk. Who would have guessed that human and bird could share so much?" --Jan DeBlieu "In this elegant synthesis of memoir and literary sleuthing . . . Macdonald describes in beautiful, thoughtful prose how she comes to terms with death in new and startling ways." --"Publishers Weekly" "A dazzling piece of work: deeply affecting, utterly fascinating and blazing with love . . . a deeply human work shot through, like cloth of gold, with intelligence and compassion--an exemplar of the mysterious alchemy by which suffering can be transmuted into beauty. I will be surprised if a better book than "H is for Hawk" is published this year." --Melissa Harrison, "Financial Times" "More than any other writer I know, including her beloved [T.H.] White, Macdonald is able to summon the mental world of a bird of prey . . . she extends the boundaries of nature writing. As a naturalist she has somehow acquired her bird's laser-like visual acuity. As a writer she combines a lexicographer's pleasure in words as carefully curated objects with an inventive passion for new words or for ways of releasing fresh effects from the old stock. . . . Macdonald looks set to revive the genre." --Mark Cocker, "Guardian" "A talon-sharp memoir that will thrill and chill you to the bone . . . Macdonald has just the right blend of the scientist and the poet, of observing on the one hand and feeling on the other." --Craig Brown, "Daily Mail" "What [Macdonald] has achieved is a very rare thing in literature--a completely realistic account of a human relationship with animal consciousness. . . . Her training of Mabel has the suspense and tension of the here and now. You are gripped by the slightest movement, by the turn of every feather. It is a soaring performance and Mabel is the star." --John Carey, "Sunday Times" "A well-wrought book, one part memoir, one part gorgeous evocation of the natural world and one part literary meditation . . . lit with flashes of grace, a grace that sweeps down to the reader to hold her wrist tight with beautiful, terrible claws. The discovery of the season." --Erica Wagner, "Economist" "The magnificent "H is for Hawk" [has] grabbed me by its talons . . . [it's] nature writing, but not as you know it. Astounding." --Caroline Sanderson, "The Bookseller" "It "sings." I couldn't stop reading." --Mark Haddon, author of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" and "A Spot of Bother" "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, author of "In the Blood" "A deep, dark work of terrible beauty that will open fissures in the stoniest heart. . . . Macdonald is a survivor . . . she has produced one of the most eloquent accounts of bereavement you could hope to read . . . A grief memoir with wings." --"The Bookseller" "A book made from the heart that goes to the heart . . . It combines old and new nature and human nature with great originality. No one who has looked up to see a bird of prey cross the sky could read it and not have their life shifted." --Tim Dee, author of "The Running Sky" "The most magical book I have ever read." --Olivia Laing, author of "The Trip to Echo Springs".

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    schema:reviewBody "* Winner of the Costa Book Award: "A unique and beautiful book with a searing emotional honesty, and descriptive language that is unparalleled in modern literature." "An inspired, beautiful and absorbing account of a woman battling grief--with a goshawk. . . . Writing with breathless urgency . . . Macdonald broadens her scope well beyond herself to focus on the antagonism between people and the environment. Whether you call this a personal story or nature writing, it's poignant, thoughtful and moving--and likely to become a classic in either genre." --"Kirkus Reviews" (starred) ""H is for Hawk" is a work of great spirit and wonder, illuminated equally by terror and desire. Each beautiful sentence is capable of taking a reader's breath. The book is built of feather and bone, intelligence and blood, and a vulnerability so profound as to conjure that vulnerability's shadow, which is the great power of honesty. It is not just a definitive work on falconry; it is a definitive work on humanity, and all that can and cannot be possessed." --Rick Bass "A lovely touching book about a young woman grieving over the death of her father becoming rejuvenated by training one of the roughest, most difficult creatures in the heavens, the goshawk." --Jim Harrison "In addition to being an excellent memoir of loss and grief, "H is for Hawk" is a wonderful exploration of how birds of prey can function as metaphor to produce art and a roadmap for human lives. Read it and enrich your life." --Dan O'Brien "Rich with the poetry of ideation, the narrative flows through the author's deeply textured story of personal loss like a mountain wind, swirling seamlessly through fields of literature, biology, natural history, and the art of hunting with hawks. Readers might do well to absorb this book a bite at a time--but be prepared for a full meal." --Lynn Schooler "A beautiful book on so many levels. Macdonald fearlessly probes each facet of grief and traverses its wilderness to reach redemption. But most beautiful of all is the complex, layered bond that builds between her and Mabel, her hawk. Who would have guessed that human and bird could share so much?" --Jan DeBlieu "In this elegant synthesis of memoir and literary sleuthing . . . Macdonald describes in beautiful, thoughtful prose how she comes to terms with death in new and startling ways." --"Publishers Weekly" "A dazzling piece of work: deeply affecting, utterly fascinating and blazing with love . . . a deeply human work shot through, like cloth of gold, with intelligence and compassion--an exemplar of the mysterious alchemy by which suffering can be transmuted into beauty. I will be surprised if a better book than "H is for Hawk" is published this year." --Melissa Harrison, "Financial Times" "More than any other writer I know, including her beloved [T.H.] White, Macdonald is able to summon the mental world of a bird of prey . . . she extends the boundaries of nature writing. As a naturalist she has somehow acquired her bird's laser-like visual acuity. As a writer she combines a lexicographer's pleasure in words as carefully curated objects with an inventive passion for new words or for ways of releasing fresh effects from the old stock. . . . Macdonald looks set to revive the genre." --Mark Cocker, "Guardian" "A talon-sharp memoir that will thrill and chill you to the bone . . . Macdonald has just the right blend of the scientist and the poet, of observing on the one hand and feeling on the other." --Craig Brown, "Daily Mail" "What [Macdonald] has achieved is a very rare thing in literature--a completely realistic account of a human relationship with animal consciousness. . . . Her training of Mabel has the suspense and tension of the here and now. You are gripped by the slightest movement, by the turn of every feather. It is a soaring performance and Mabel is the star." --John Carey, "Sunday Times" "A well-wrought book, one part memoir, one part gorgeous evocation of the natural world and one part literary meditation . . . lit with flashes of grace, a grace that sweeps down to the reader to hold her wrist tight with beautiful, terrible claws. The discovery of the season." --Erica Wagner, "Economist" "The magnificent "H is for Hawk" [has] grabbed me by its talons . . . [it's] nature writing, but not as you know it. Astounding." --Caroline Sanderson, "The Bookseller" "It "sings." I couldn't stop reading." --Mark Haddon, author of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" and "A Spot of Bother" "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, author of "In the Blood" "A deep, dark work of terrible beauty that will open fissures in the stoniest heart. . . . Macdonald is a survivor . . . she has produced one of the most eloquent accounts of bereavement you could hope to read . . . A grief memoir with wings." --"The Bookseller" "A book made from the heart that goes to the heart . . . It combines old and new nature and human nature with great originality. No one who has looked up to see a bird of prey cross the sky could read it and not have their life shifted." --Tim Dee, author of "The Running Sky" "The most magical book I have ever read." --Olivia Laing, author of "The Trip to Echo Springs"." ;
    .


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