H Is For Hawk by Helen MacdonaldH Is For Hawk by Helen Macdonald

H Is For Hawk

byHelen Macdonald

Paperback | March 1, 2016

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A bestseller throughout the English-speaking world and a multiple award winner, H Is for Hawk is the exquisitely written story of one woman's journey to the limits of grief and love.

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 £800 on a Scottish quayside and takes her home to Cambridge, embarking on the long, strange business of trying to train this wildest of animals.

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. It's a book about memory, nature, and how it might be possible to try to reconcile death with life and love.

HELEN MACDONALD is a writer, poet, illustrator, historian and affiliate at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge. She also worked as a Research Fellow at Jesus College, Cambridge. She is the author of a cultural history of falcons, titled Falcon, and three collections of poetry. She writes f...
Title:H Is For HawkFormat:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 8.23 × 5.22 × 0.81 inPublished:March 1, 2016Publisher:Penguin CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143194674

ISBN - 13:9780143194675


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it An amazing memoir of a wman grieving over the loss of her father.
Date published: 2018-03-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Passionate Storytelling I have not had to deal with loss in my life yet, but I can tell that Helen Macdonald writes from her heart. There was quite a lot of content about T H White, which I didn't care for as much but it led to interesting parallels in Helen's life that made it worth it.
Date published: 2018-01-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Book Such a different read than expected, but really great.
Date published: 2017-03-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved It Beautiful book, inside and out.
Date published: 2017-02-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Remarkable I never thought the world of falconry would be this exciting!
Date published: 2016-11-26
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Tiring Not my favourite book I've read. Ms. Macdonald, it appears to me, visits her psychiatric problems, her infatuation with a dead madman, upon this long struggling reader. I finished the book and shall neer open another volume of hers.
Date published: 2015-09-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Luscious Prose A beautiful, thoughtful book about love, grief, our relationship with animals, a woman and a hawk. Helen MacDonald considers herself with exacting honesty, which means she doesn't shy away from the troubling parts of training her hawk, or even how she constructs her sense of who she is. A wonderful book for an introspective animal lover.
Date published: 2015-09-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Unusual and evocative writing Helen Macdonald has written a gorgeous narrative about wild hawks, grief and death, and a personal journey she takes during a life crisis. This is a beautifully written book, although I would have liked more about the birds and less about the humans.
Date published: 2015-03-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Must. Read. Again. I’ve never had the urge to tame something with talons and a beak, but from the first paragraph of “Hawk” I was transfixed. Nature chronicle and transcendent literary memoir, this is better than a David Attenborough documentary for opening a window onto the wild. As Macdonald says -- “Looking for goshawks is like looking for grace: it comes, but not often, and you don’t get to say when or how”.
Date published: 2015-02-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Now I want to become a Falconer Add equal parts history, memoir, owner's manual and nature books, blend together and you have H is for Hawk. A delightfully different read.
Date published: 2014-12-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A lyrical stroll through the Cambridgeshire countryside? More like a blood-soaked rampage. This animal wants to kill. She is a feathered bundle of suppressed rage that gives a different meaning to the distracted cry, "Squirrel!" And, since she's a bird, she lives her whole life in deadpan. No smiles. No frowns. Just that quizzical cock of the head indicating curiosity at her next victim. Of course, I'm overplaying the violence of the book. But Helen Macdonald so vividly, viscerally, perfectly describes the world through her hawk's eyes that you will walk around for days calculating whether you can jump the next errant pheasant that breaks cover. The real story is about her living through the grief of losing her father; rediscovering the wild of Britain; and re-living the noble, romantic past of falconry. But that hawk!
Date published: 2014-12-19

Editorial Reviews

#1 Globe and Mail Bestseller“Macdonald's beautiful and nearly feral book ... reminds us that excellent nature writing can lay bare some of the intimacies of the wild world as well. Her book is so good that, at times, it hurt me to read it. It draws blood, in ways that seem curative.”—The New York Times“Nothing short of a triumph.”—Maclean's“A pulsing song of life. It's a book to give as a gift, to anyone you know well enough to send sifting through old bones, shattered hearts and mutilated pheasants, in search of grace.”—The Globe and Mail