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H is for Hawk

Cover: 'H is for Hawk'

Staff Review: "H is for Hawk" by Helen Macdonald


Part memoir, part nature essay, and part biography of eccentric author T.H. White, this book is difficult to categorize. Helen Macdonald decides to train a goshawk after her father's unexpected death, and the experience allows her to deal with her loss. Macdonald also writes about the parallels between her goshawk training experience and the English author T.H. White's disastrous goshawk experience, devoting chapter after chapter to the troubled author. Macdonald's writing is beautiful and thought-provoking, and worthy of the accolades this book has received. However, since I picked up this book because I was interested in the author's story and not a T.H. White biography, I was disappointed at times. Just when Macdonald starts to expose her grief and depression over her father's death, she quickly bates much like her hawk does at the beginning of training, and resumes writing about White.

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, biography, memoir

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