Look, Listen & Learn

H is for Hawk: Helen Macdonald (2015)

The English historian, poet, naturalist and illustrator Helen Macdonald once bred hawks for Arab sheikhs. She is also the winner of the Costa Award and the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction for H is for Hawk, a chronicle of her attempt to tame Mabel the goshawk as a means of assuaging grief after the death of her father. “Grief,” she writes, “is just love with nowhere to go.” Referencing the similar attempts of T. H. White (of Once and Future King fame) to master falconry. Macdonald’s memoir is described as, pun intended, “a soaring triumph”. Chaired by Noelle McCarthy.