When Helen MacDonald's father died suddenly on a London street, she was devastated. An experienced falconer captivated by hawks since childhood, she'd never before been tempted to train one of the most vicious predators: the goshawk. But in her grief, she saw that the goshawk's fierce and feral anger mirrored her own.
"Mabel The Hawk--The Fire That Burned The Hurts Away"
"Winner of the 2014 Samuel Johnson PrizeShortlisted for the 2014 Costa Biography Award‘. In real life, goshawks resemble sparrowhawks the way leopards resemble housecats. Bigger, yes. But bulkier, bloodier, deadlier, scarier, and much, much harder to see. Birds of deep woodland, not gardens, they’re the birdwatchers’ dark grail.’ 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.
"A delicious collage of word images"
Helen Macdonald is a falconer and poet. She keeps a goshawk called Mabel. As a child she fell in love with a rare book of intense nature writing, J.A. Baker's The Peregrine, which records a winter watching wild peregrines on the Essex coast. Her new play brings her birds and his together. Baker tramps the bleak coastal marshes scanning the skies for fleeting moments of bloody drama as a peregrine stoops at immense speed after a plover or a pigeon.