Dubray Books review:
When Helen Macdonald hears that her father has died, her world tilts askew and everything in it is rendered alien. She dreams of goshawks – wild, fierce and beautiful – and realises the hawk is everything she wants to be: solitary, self-possessed and free from grief. Inevitably, she acquires a young goshawk she calls Mabel and begins the arduous process of convincing the young raptor to trust her. A fascinating natural history and a memoir of loss, this is also a biography of the writer T.H. White, who wrote of his struggles to train a goshawk. It is a book of hauntings: Helen is reminded constantly of her father and the solitary, tragic figure of White but, above all, she is terrified of failing Mabel. Unique, passionate and powerful, and a richly deserving winner of both the Costa Book of the Year and the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction.
Karina Clifford, Dubray Books Stillorgan
This book is the Winner of the Costa Book of the Year and Winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction. As a child, Helen Macdonald was determined to become a falconer, learning the arcane terminology and reading all the classic books. Years later, when her father died and she was struck deeply by grief, she became obsessed with the idea of training her own goshawk. She bought Mabel for GBP800 on a Scottish quayside and took her home to Cambridge, ready to embark on the long, strange business of trying to train this wildest of animals. H is for Hawk is an unflinchingly honest account of Macdonald's struggle with grief during the difficult process of the hawk's taming and her own untaming. This is a book about memory, nature and nation, and how it might be possible to reconcile death with life and love.
10 Main Street,
Sign Up to Our Newsletter