“Looking for goshawks is like looking for grace: it comes, but not often, and you don’t get to say when or how. “

MacdonaldSimultaneously a “breathtaking memoir” and a “small instant classic of nature writing,” this book juggles multiple themes and techniques. One often-used technique is metaphor: we meet a fellow who is as “serene as a mid-ocean wave” and see the deer “ankle their way out of the brush to graze” and watch her cup feathers in her closed fist as if she “were holding a moment tight inside itself.” Of the many reasons to read this wonderful book, the strongest for me is to see how Macdonald keeps her balance while developing themes and strokes of art that somehow work together.

Helen Macdonald, H is for Hawk (New York: Grove Press, 2015), 3.

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