Helen Macdonald is a writer, poet, illustrator, historian and affiliate at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge. Her books include Falcon (2006) and Shaler's Fish (2001).
A soaring triumph. -- Christian House * Daily Telegraph * Mesmerising, decisive and devastating... Her description of Mabel in flight should be etched into every birdwatcher's field guide... Macdonald is a nature writer supreme, arguably the best practitioner of this art form writing today. -- Stuart Winter * Sunday Express * A talon-sharp memoir that will thrill and chill you to the bone... Fascinating. -- Craig Brown * Mail on Sunday * People talk about books that change your life. I loved the fact that this book does something much more valuable. It doesn't change anything. It leaves everything just where it was, only more so; more distinct, more itself. It opens your eyes. And it deepens what we have always known; that we live side by side with each other, as we do with the creatures around us. -- Laura Beatty * Caught by the River * Astounding. * Bookseller * Absorbing... This memoir is lit with flashes of that grace, a grace that sweeps down to the reader to hold her wrist tight with beautiful, terrible class. The discovery of the season. -- Erica Wagner * The Economist * A wondrous book of loss and recovery... When [Macdonald] matches her factual know-how...with her poet's eye, it is excellent... An exceptional book of twisted growth. -- Tim Dee * National * Cunningly plaited and - almost - devastating... It deserves to sell shedloads and win prizes, it is naturalist writing of that spectacular quality that is literature too. -- Angus Clarke * The Times * What she has achieved is a very rare thing in literature - a completely realistic account of a human relationship with animal consciousness... It is a soaring performance and Mabel is the star. -- John Carey * Sunday Times * One of the most eloquent accounts of bereavement you could hope to read... A grief memoir with wings. -- Caroline Sanderson * Bookseller * MacDonald's prose is poetic, forensic, yet often capable of quickening the pulse. Her lexicon...is vivid and joyous, soaring as freely as birds do. -- Benjamin Myers * New Scientist * It is a mark of Macdonald's achievement that so exultant a book can resolve itself in a sense of failure, yet leave the reader as uplifted as a raptor riding on a thermal. -- Philip Hoare * New Statesman * Nature-writing, but not as you know it. Astounding. * Bookseller * Captivating... There is a highly polished brilliance to her writing. The English-speaking world has an old passion for books about creatures and captivating companions ... Helen Macdonald looks set to revive the genre. -- Guardian * Mark Cocker * [Macdonald's] descriptive writing, startlingly and devilishly precise...is only the half of it. She has written her taming of Mabel like a thriller, slowly and carefully cranking the tension is that your stomach and heart leap queasily towards each other... Captivates. -- Rachel Cooke * Observer * I can't remember the last time a book made me feel so many different things in such quick succession. -- Rachel Cooke * Guardian * I'm convinced it's going to be an absolute classic of nature writing. -- Nick Barley * Guardian * H is for Hawk is a dazzling piece of work: deeply affecting, utterly fascinating and blazing with love and intelligence... The result is a deeply human work shot through...with intelligence and compassion... I will be surprised if a better book than H is for Hawk is published this year. -- Melissa Harrison * Financial Times * This beautiful book is at once heartfelt and clever in the way it mixes elegy with celebration: elegy for a father lost, celebration of a hawk found - and in the finding also a celebration of countryside, forbears of one kind and another, life-in-death. At a time of very distinguished writing about the relationship between human kind and the environment, it is immediately pre-eminent. -- Andrew Motion It just sings. I couldn't stop reading. -- Mark Haddon