H Is for Hawk

H Is for Hawk

Helen Macdonald

Language: English

Pages: 320

ISBN: 0802124739

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


One of the New York Times Book Review's 10 Best Books of the Year

ON MORE THAN 25 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR LISTS: including TIME (#1 Nonfiction Book), NPR, O, The Oprah Magazine (10 Favorite Books), Vogue (Top 10), Vanity Fair, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Seattle Times, San Francisco Chronicle (Top 10), Miami Herald, St. Louis Post Dispatch, Minneapolis Star Tribune (Top 10), Library Journal (Top 10), Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Slate, Shelf Awareness, Book Riot, Amazon (Top 20)

The instant New York Times bestseller and award-winning sensation, Helen Macdonald's story of adopting and raising one of nature's most vicious predators has soared into the hearts of millions of readers worldwide. Fierce and feral, her goshawk Mabel's temperament mirrors Helen's own state of grief after her father's death, and together raptor and human "discover the pain and beauty of being alive" (People). H Is for Hawk is a genre-defying debut from one of our most unique and transcendent voices.

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I could talk to them. The farmhouse was still there, and behind it the ponds where Gos had bathed and White had fished. Perhaps the same carp swam in them. I could find out more about him, make him alive again, chase down the memories here. For a moment that old desire to cross over and bring someone back flared up as bright as flame. But then I put that thought aside. I put it down, and the relief was immense, as if I had dragged a half-tonne weight from myself and cast it by the grassy

It is bright, after heavy rain, and the crowds of closing time have gone. On this second expedition from the house Mabel grips the glove more tightly than ever. She is tense. She looks smaller and feels heavier in this mood, as if fear had a weight to it, as if pewter had been poured into her long and airy bones. The raindrop marks on her tight-feathered front run together into long lines like those around a downturned mouth. She picks fitfully at her food, but mostly she stares, taut with

writing things late at night in a drunken, expansive hand that never make their way into his book because they are too revealing. The thing he most hates is to have his head stroked, the thing he most likes is to have his tail feathers pulled, stroked, pruned & sorted out. In fact, Gos shows much interest in his backward parts. He is a coprophilite, if not a pansy. He can slice his mutes 3 yards and always turns proudly round to look at them. I, however, who can pee continually for several

people living forwards from behind’. This backwards life is what gives Merlyn his ability to predict the future – for him, it is always his past. In White’s 1941 conclusion to The Once and Future King, published much later as The Book of Merlyn, Arthur awaits his final battle. He is elderly now, tired and despairing, and when Merlyn appears he wonders if the wizard is a dream. Merlyn rebukes him. ‘When I was a third-rate schoolmaster in the twentieth century,’ he snaps, ‘every single boy I ever

vellum-bound journal. He pauses. A thought has struck him, borne in with the sound of bells. Perhaps he might write the book about hawks after all. He had tried once, and failed. Perhaps he would try again. It would not be the usual naturalist’s book about hawks. That would be bogus, he thinks. This would be real literature. He begins to sketch out why: The initiation ceremonies, the voodoo hut of the falconer, the noises in the magic dark, the necromantic knots. Knots were probably the

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