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Esther Woolfson was brought up in Glasgow and studied Chinese at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Edinburgh University. Her acclaimed short stories have appeared in many anthologies and have been read on Radio 4. She is the author of Corvus: A Life with Birds, which is also published by Granta Books. She has won prizes for her nature writing and received a Scottish Arts Council Travel Grant and a Writer's Bursary.
Shortlisted for The THWAITES WAINWRIGHT PRIZE 2014 - The new literary prize for Nature & Travel Writing about Britain. Against the background of austere and beautiful Aberdeen, Woolfson observes the seasons, the streets and the quiet places of her city over the course of a year. She considers the geographic, atmospheric and environmental elements which bring diverse life forms together in close proximity, and in absorbing prose writes of the animals among us: the birds, the rats and squirrels, the spiders and the insects. Her close examination of the natural world leads her to question our prevailing attitudes to urban and non-urban wildlife, and to look again at the values we place on the lives of individual species.
One spring, many years ago, Esther Woolfson's daughter rescued a fledgling rook. That rook, named Chicken, quickly established herself as part of the family, and other birds, including an irascible cockatiel and a depressive parrot, soon followed. But it was the corvids - members of the crow family - who amazed Woolfson with their personality and their capacity for affection. This classic blend of memoir and natural history combines the author's fascination with all things avian, from the mechanics of flight to the science of birdsong, with her funny, tender stories of life among the birds.