H Is for Hawk is everything one wants literary nonfiction to be: impeccably written, reflective, searing, smart, and toned with wildness. When Helen MacDonald’s father dies unexpectedly, her raging grief drives her to train a goshawk, the fiercest of raptors. Infused with T.H. White’s writing on his own time with a goshawk, this book becomes an eccentric history, a meditation on loss, a captivating memoir, and nature writing of the highest caliber.— Melinda
Most people would not choose to cope with loss by undertaking the training of a goshawk, but Helen Macdonald is not most people. In the aftermath of the sudden death of her father, Macdonald indulges a lifelong love of hawks and purchases a goshawk whom she names Mable. Goshawks are notoriously temperamental and extremely intelligent, so training one is no small feat. Macdonald’s writing is lush and expressive and her portrayal of her relationship with Mable is raw and deeply moving.— Jade
“This is a superbly crafted memoir, incredibly original in its depth and visceral impact. The author swings back and forth between her own desire to train a goshawk and her research of that same need documented by T.H. White. Self-deprecating humor vies with wonder and grief as Macdonald manages to make the reader see, hear, and feel every aspect of this incredible journey. A marvelous read.”
— Karen Frank, Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, VT
One of the New York Times Book Review's 10 Best Books of the Year
One of Slate's 50 Best Nonfiction Books of the Last 25 Years
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.