join us on facebook make the most of Lovereading twitter
Search our site
Fools and Mortals by Bernard Cornwell Read the opening extract of the brand new Bernard Cornwell book before its publication on 19/10/2017

H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
  

H is for Hawk

Biography / Autobiography   All Shortlists and Winners   eBook Favourites   eBook Favourites   

RRP £14.99

Sue Baker's view...

Winner of the Costa Book of the Year 2014.

Winner of the Costa Biography Award 2014.

Winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize 2014.

Owning and training a hawk has been a life-long dream for Helen Macdonald, she accomplishes her dream as she tries to deal with the anguish of her father’s death. She buys a Goshawk, Mabel and the monumental task of training of this wild bird begins. There are some heart in the mouth moments, sadness too not only in her own grief but the tortured soul of T H White, the author who inspired her with Goshawk, his own record of trying to train a Goshawk. A compelling story that follows Helen Macdonald from dark to light in her quest to let go and become as one with the hawk.

The Costa Judges said Macdonald's book was “a beautifully-layered memoir centred on nature and survival in superlative and original prose.”

Like for Like Reading

Falconry & Hawking by Phillip Glasier

The Peregrine with The Hill of summer by J. A. Baker

Who is Sue Baker

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. When Helen Macdonald’s beloved father died, she experienced all-consuming grief that seemed unassuageable. That she began to identify with the life of austringer (goshawk trainer) T H White and his books, speaks much for her capacity to love and to move on. Writing with a depth of description that is at times poetic, Macdonald shows how she overcame isolation and loneliness through her attachment to a goshawk called Mabel – a bird with a bolshie mind of her own. Macdonald writes poignantly but avoids sentimentality on taking her reader on this journey of discovery and ultimately of liberation.
~ Carl Hughes

Win a Signed Copy from Arun Gandhi

We have a highly sought after SIGNED COPY to give away of The Gift of Anger, written by Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson, Arun Gandhi. This is a memoir that also shares some of the beliefs and teachings of his grandfather, beliefs that focus on co-existence and tolerance which are needed now more than ever in our world.

To have a chance of winning this fantastic prize, click the button below. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once.

The draw closes on 31 October 2017. The winners will be notified by 9 November 2017.

Good luck!

Enter prize draw Draw closes: 31/10/2017

Synopsis

H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald

Winner of the Costa Book of the Year 2014.

Winner of the Costa Biography Award 2014.

Winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize 2014.

'In real life, goshawks resemble sparrowhawks the way leopards resemble housecats. Bigger, yes. But bulkier, bloodier, deadlier, scarier, and much, much harder to see. Birds of deep woodland, not gardens, they're the birdwatchers' dark grail.' As a child Helen Macdonald was determined to become a falconer. She learned the arcane terminology and read all the classic books, including T. H. White's tortured masterpiece, The Goshawk, which describes White's struggle to train a hawk as a spiritual contest. When her father dies and she is knocked sideways by grief, she becomes obsessed with the idea of training her own goshawk. She buys Mabel for GBP800 on a Scottish quayside and takes her home to Cambridge. Then she fills the freezer with hawk food and unplugs the phone, ready to embark on the long, strange business of trying to train this wildest of animals. 'To train a hawk you must watch it like a hawk, and so gain the ability to predict what it will do next. Eventually you don't see the hawk's body language at all. You seem to feel what it feels. The hawk's apprehension becomes your own. As the days passed and I put myself in the hawk's wild mind to tame her, my humanity was burning away.' Destined to be a classic of nature writing, H is for Hawk is a record of a spiritual journey - an unflinchingly honest account of Macdonald's struggle with grief during the difficult process of the hawk's taming and her own untaming. At the same time, it's a kaleidoscopic biography of the brilliant and troubled novelist T. H. White, best known for The Once and Future King. It's a book about memory, nature and nation, and how it might be possible to try to reconcile death with life and love.


Browse inside this book

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

'This is 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

'Nature-writing, but not as you know it. Astounding. Bookseller One of the most eloquent accounts of bereavement you could hope to read... A grief memoir with wings.' -- Caroline Sanderson, Bookseller

About the Author

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).

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

31st July 2014

Author

Helen Macdonald

More books by Helen Macdonald
Author 'Like for Like'
    recommendations
Loading twitter updates...

Publisher

Jonathan Cape Ltd an imprint of Random House Children's Publishers UK

Format

Hardback
320 pages

Categories

Biography / Autobiography
All Shortlists and Winners
eBook Favourites
eBook Favourites

Wildlife: birds & birdwatching

ISBN

9780224097000

Love books. Love reading. Love reading books. And, here's the trick. Here's a website which caters for people like me.

Ian Harvey-brown

It's the first site that I visit when deciding on the next set of books to buy. A particular treat is being able to download an extract.

Tessa Olson

What can I say, the clue is in the title Lovereading - and awesome books.

Sarah Davis

I 'Lovereading' because it lets me see what new books are around with a detailed synopsis and readers' reviews.

Judith Sharp

A great place to go to find your next literary escape, and where you don't have to judge a book by its cover!

Suzanne Beney

For me, to read is to learn, to reflect, to escape, to think, to contemplate and my time for space and calm.

Sally Ellsmore

Lovereading is pitched at just the right level for all the various types of people who enjoy reading in its many forms.

Pam Woodburn

It's information about new books so, for a book lover like me, what's not to like!

Joan Hill

Lovereading4kids

Lovereading4schools