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Homing: On Pigeons, Dwellings and Why We Return

Jon Day



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John Murray Publishers Ltd
10 March 2020
Memoirs; Birds (ornithology); Wildlife: birds & birdwatching; Birds, including cage birds, as pets
'Big-hearted and quietly gripping' Guardian 'I love Jon Day's writing and his birds. A marvellous, soaring account' Olivia Laing '[A] beautiful book about unbeautiful birds' Observer 'This is nature writing at its best' Financial Times 'Every page of this beautifully written book brought me pleasure' Charlotte Higgins 'A vivid evocation of a remarkable species and a rich working-class tradition. It's also a charming defence of a much-maligned bird, which will make any reader look at our cooing, waddling, junk-food-loving feathered friends very differently in future' Daily Mail 'Endlessly interesting and dazzlingly erudite, this wonderful book will make a home for itself in your heart' Prospect As a boy, Jon Day was fascinated by pigeons, which he used to rescue from the streets of London. Twenty years later he moved away from the city centre to the suburbs to start a family. But in moving house, he began to lose a sense of what it meant to feel at home.

Returning to his childhood obsession with the birds, he built a coop in his garden and joined a local pigeon racing club. Over the next few years, as he made a home with his young family in Leyton, he learned to train and race his pigeons, hoping that they might teach him to feel homed.

Having lived closely with humans for tens of thousands of years, pigeons have become powerful symbols of peace and domesticity. But they are also much-maligned, and nowadays most people think of these birds, if they do so at all, as vermin.

A book about the overlooked beauty of this species, and about what it means to dwell, HOMING delves into the curious world of pigeon fancying, explores the scientific mysteries of animal homing, and traces the cultural, political and philosophical meanings of home. It is a book about the making of home and making for home: a book about why we return.
By:   Jon Day
Imprint:   John Murray Publishers Ltd
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 196mm,  Width: 126mm,  Spine: 26mm
Weight:   200g
ISBN:   9781473635401
ISBN 10:   1473635403
Pages:   272
Publication Date:   10 March 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Jon Day is a lecturer in English at King's College London. He has written for the London Review of Books, the New York Review of Books, the Guardian, the Financial Times, and others. His first book, Cyclogeography, was published in 2015. He lives with his family in London.

Reviews for Homing: On Pigeons, Dwellings and Why We Return

Precise and poignant - Spectator I love Jon Day's writing and his birds. A marvellous, soaring account - Olivia Laing A compelling blend of personal memoir, nature writing and popular science, Day's book considers the humble pigeon, probably our oldest companion species. - Mail on Sunday 'A terrific book which explores the sport inside out, as well as our own human concept of what home is' - Daily Telegraph A dazzlingly erudite memoir about family, children and pigeon-fancying. An unlikely combination perhaps, but Day pulls it off. - Prospect Magazine A meditation that swoops agilely over topics from tyranny of technology to the paradoxes of parenting and the rewards of simply staying put. . . . A joyful, richly rewarding book - Mail on Sunday Big-hearted and quietly gripping - The Guardian [A] Vivid evocation of a remarkable species and a rich working-class tradition...a charming defence of a much-maligned bird - Daily Mail

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