H Is For Hawk -- an elegantly written amalgam of nature writing, personal memoir, and an examination of bereavement
H Is For Hawk by Helen Macdonald (2016, Grove Press; 320 pages)
When naturalist and falconer Helen Macdonald lost her beloved father, she “thought [her] world was ending.” Seems apropos, then, that her journey from crippling grief to something resembling grace is on the wings of another deadly bird of prey--the notoriously prickly, and murderous, goshawk. In H Is for Hawk, you will meet Mabel, not your typical bloodthirsty specimen, as she is trained to hunt like the goshawks of yore. It is this brash, slightly mad undertaking that wrenches Macdonald free from despair, and brings her to a place where she can begin again.
In H Is For Hawk -- which is on just about every Best Book of the Year list -- we also learn about the famed Arthurian novelist T.H. White, a kindred soul to Macdonald in certain ways. One of the things that endeared him to her was his “childish delight” with all things wild, something you’ll be hard-pressed not to experience as soon as you tap into this tome.
This is a fantastic memoir, one that renders an indelible impression of a raptor’s fierce essence—and the author's own—with words that mimic feathers. I am amazed at this memoir!
Find this title in our catalog: H is for Hawk
Recommended by: Maite