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Publisher's Summary

“I loved every single page.” (Elton John) 

“The best piece of nature writing since H Is for Hawk.” (Neil Gaiman) 

​In this moving, critically acclaimed memoir, a young man saves a baby magpie as his estranged father is dying, only to find that caring for the mischievous bird saves him.

One spring day, a baby magpie falls out of its nest and into Charlie Gilmour’s hands. Magpies, he soon discovers, are as clever and mischievous as monkeys. They are also notorious thieves, and this one quickly steals his heart. By the time the creature develops shiny black feathers that inspire the name Benzene, Charlie and the bird have forged an unbreakable bond. 

While caring for Benzene, Charlie learns his biological father, an eccentric British poet named Heathcote Williams who vanished when Charlie was six months old, is ill. As he grapples with Heathcote’s abandonment, Charlie comes across one of his poems, in which Heathcote describes how an impish young jackdaw fell from its nest and captured his affection. Over time, Benzene helps Charlie unravel his fears about repeating the past — and embrace the role of father himself. A bird falls, a father dies, a child is born. 

Featherhood is the unforgettable story of a love affair between a man and a bird. It is also a beautiful and affecting memoir about childhood and parenthood, captivity and freedom, grief and love.

©2021 Charlie Gilmour. All Heathcote Williams’s unpublished writings reproduced by permission of the Estate of Heathcote Williams. © Heathcote Williams 2020. All rights reserved. (P)2021 Orion Publishing Group. All rights reserved.

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Great Story, Great Listen

The thing I really loved about this read/listen was the way that the several "threads" were elegantly braided together. Using the relationship with the bird as a metaphor throughout was fascinating and engaging. Well done!
I have already sent it as a gift to two of my children and a friend -- which I have never done before.