H is for Hawk

3 ratings 4 stars

**WINNER OF THE COSTA BOOK OF THE YEAR**

**WINNER OF THE SAMUEL JOHNSON PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION**


‘Dazzling… Deeply affecting, utterly fascinating and blazing with love and intelligence' Financial Times

Subject: Memoirs
 
H is for Hawk, Helen Macdonald

THE NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER


**WINNER OF THE COSTA BOOK OF THE YEAR**

**WINNER OF THE SAMUEL JOHNSON PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION**


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.

Available Formats

  • Paperback
    $22.99 RRP
    ISBN: 9780099575450
    Published: 10/02/2015
    Imprint: Vintage
    Extent: 320 pages
  • Hardback
    $34.99 RRP
    ISBN: 9780224097000
    Published: 01/08/2014
    Imprint: Jonathan Cape
    Extent: 320 pages
  • eBook
    CHECK RETAILER PRICE
    ISBN: 9781448130726
    Published: 07/08/2014
    Imprint: Vintage Digital
    Extent: 320 pages
See All Reviews

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"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

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Helen Macdonald

Helen Macdonald

Helen Macdonald is a writer, poet, illustrator, historian and affiliate at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge. Her books include Falcon (2006) and Shaler's Fish (2001).

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