Dubray Staff Review:
Porter's debut has been described as “part novella, part polyphonic fable, part essay on grief”. It is all of these, and much more. It is an exquisitely written, surreal, poignant novel where hardly a page goes by without a sentence so perfectly polished it demands to be re-read. Set in London, it follows two boys trying to deal with their mother's death. Their father, a Ted Hughes scholar, has lost his wife and while he comes to terms with "the perplexing slow release of sadness for ever and ever and ever", the children must accept that they live in a world where "holiday and school [have become] the same." Perfect for fans of A Whole Life, this is one of those brief books that you will read quickly, but find impossible to forget.
Recommended by Tony, Dubray Blackrock
In a London flat, two young boys face the unbearable sadness of their mother's sudden death. Their father, a Ted Hughes scholar and scruffy romantic, imagines a future of well-meaning visitors and emptiness. In this moment of despair they are visited by Crow - antagonist, trickster, healer, babysitter. This sentimental bird is drawn to the grieving family and threatens to stay until they no longer need him. As weeks turn to months and the pain of loss gives way to memories, the little unit of three starts to heal. In this extraordinary debut - part novella, part polyphonic fable, part essay on grief - Max Porter's compassion and bravura style combine to dazzling effect. Full of unexpected humour and profound emotional truth, Grief Is the Thing with Feathers marks the arrival of a thrilling new talent.