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H Is for Hawk

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

* NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
* Winner of the 2014 Samuel Johnson Prize
* Named the Costa Book of the Year
* #1 best-seller in the UK

When Helen Macdonald's father died suddenly on a London street, she was devastated. An experienced falconer; Helen had been captivated by hawks since childhood; she'd never before been tempted to train one of the most vicious predators, the goshawk. But in her grief, she saw that the goshawk's fierce and feral temperament mirrored her own. Resolving to purchase and raise the deadly creature as a means to cope with her loss, she adopted Mabel, and turned to the guidance of The Once and Future King author T.H. White's chronicle The Goshawk to begin her challenging endeavor. Projecting herself "in the hawk's wild mind to tame her" tested the limits of Macdonald's humanity and changed her life.

Heart-wrenching and humorous, this book is an unflinching account of bereavement and a unique look at the magnetism of an extraordinary beast, with a parallel examination of a legendary writer's eccentric falconry. Obsession, madness, memory, myth, and history combine to achieve a distinctive blend of nature writing and memoir from an outstanding literary innovator.

From Publishers Weekly

Oct 27, 2014 – In this elegant synthesis of memoir and literary sleuthing, an English academic finds that training a young goshawk helps her through her grief over the death of her father. With her three-year fellowship at the University of Cambridge nearly over, Macdonald, a trained falconer, rediscovers a favorite book of her childhood, T.H. White's The Goshawk (1951), in which White, author of The Once and Future King, recounts his mostly failed but illuminating attempts at training a goshawk, one of the most magnificent and deadly raptors. Macdonald secures her own goshawk, which she names Mabel, and the fierce wildness of the young bird soothes her sense of being broken by her father's untimely death. The book moves from White's frustration at training his bird to Macdonald's sure, deliberate efforts to get Mabel to fly to her. She identifies so strongly with her goshawk that she feels at one with the creature. Macdonald writes, "I shared, too, desire to escape to the wild, a desire that can rip away all human softness and leave you stranded in a world of savage, courteous despair." The author plunges into the archaic terminology of falconry and examines its alleged gendered biases; she finds comfort in the "invisibility" of being the trainer, a role she undertook as a child obsessed with watching birds and animals in nature. Macdonald describes in beautiful, thoughtful prose how she comes to terms with death in new and startling ways as a result of her experiences with the goshawk.

Customer Reviews

H is for Hawk

Boring. Extremely boring. The author seems to be in love with her own angst.

Beautiful read

I have just finished H is for Hawk. What a beautiful read. I learned a lot about Hawks, and about training them to hunt. Just as important, I found the author's journey into herself insightful, psychologically astute and an equally compelling story. The book reminds me of Peter Matthiessen's Classic, 'The Snow Leopard' but is a much better and easier read.Congratulations to the author on a triumphant achievement!

Interesting trip into one's mind

An eye opening trip into the author's mind thru the mind of her hawk. Excellent book. Could not put it down.

H Is for Hawk
View in iTunes
  • $15.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: Mar 03, 2015
  • Publisher: Grove Atlantic
  • Seller: Perseus Books, LLC
  • Print Length: 288 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings

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