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H is for hawk

H is for hawk

Macdonald, Helen, 1970- author

"As a child Helen Macdonald was determined to become a falconer. She learned the arcane terminology and read all the classic books, including T.H. White's tortured masterpiece, The Goshawk, which describes White's struggle to train a hawk as a spiritual contest. When her father dies and she is knocked sideways by grief, she becomes obsessed with the idea of training her own goshawk. She buys Mabel for £800 on a Scottish quayside and takes her home to Cambridge. Then she fills the freezer with hawk food and unplugs the phone, ready to embark on the long, strange business of trying to train this wildest of animals. ... Destined to be a classic of nature writing, H is for Hawk is a record of a spiritual journey--an unflinchingly honest account of Macdonald's struggle with grief during the difficult process of the hawk's taming and her own untaming. At the same time, it's a kaleidoscopic biography of the brilliant and troubled novelist T.H. White, best known for The Once and Future King. It's a book about memory, nature and nation, and how it might be possible to try to reconcile death with life and love."--Dust jacket

Book. English.
Published London: Jonathan Cape, 2014

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Statement of responsibility: Helen Macdonald
ISBN: 0224097008, 9780224097000
Note: Includes bibliographical references (pages 285-297).
Physical Description: 300 pages ; 23 cm
Subject: White, T. H. (Terence Hanbury), 1906-1964.; Spirituality.; Grief.; Goshawk.; Falconry.; Macdonald, Helen, 1970-
Award: Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction, 2014.


  1. Part I. Patience
  2. Lost
  3. Small worlds
  4. Mr White
  5. Holding tight
  6. The box of stars
  7. Invisibility
  8. The Rembrandt interior
  9. The rite of passage
  10. Darkness
  11. Leaving home
  12. Outlaws
  13. Alice, falling
  14. The line
  15. For whom the bell
  16. Rain
  17. Heat
  18. Part II. Flying free
  19. Extinction
  20. Hiding
  21. Fear
  22. Apple day
  23. Memorial
  24. Drugs
  25. Magical places
  26. The flight of time
  27. The new world
  28. Winter histories
  29. Enter spring
  30. The moving earth.