by Angela Jones, Marshall Artists Series
Spend an evening with New York Times best-selling author, Helen Macdonald, as she discusses her award-winning book H is for Hawk Saturday, Feb. 4 @ 7:30 PM at the Joan C. Edwards Playhouse, giving the community some insight to this “genre-defying” piece of literature.

Helen Macdonald is an English writer, poet and naturalist who puts her own personal experiences into her work, making for a more interesting read. Macdonald is best known for her work with H is for Hawk, which became an instant New York Times bestseller along with being awarded the 2014 Samuel Johnson Prize and the Costa Book Award.

Macdonald’s New York Times bestseller and award-winning sensation H is for Hawk took the literary world by storm, giving a surprising story about adopting one of nature’s most vicious predators to cope with the sudden loss of her photojournalist father. Her life changing journey to tame a fierce goshawk named Mabel – told with “searing emotional honesty and descriptive language that is unparalleled in modern literature” (Costa Book Award) – touched the hearts of millions.

While the premise of her memoir is simple, the story is exquisite. Retreating from the human world gave Macdonald the opportunity to receive a prescription for all that ailed her. Raising Mabel gave her a challenge and a chance to deal with her grief in her own way.

This story is not your typical story of “animal as emotional healer,” it is raw and gave Macdonald the opportunity to write about something different that has sparked the interest of avid readers all over the globe.

“Helen Macdonald renders an indelible impression of a raptor’s fierce essence – and her own – with the words that mimic feathers, so impossibly pretty we don’t notice their astonishing engineering.” New York Times

 “Helen Macdonald’s beautiful and nearly feral book, H is for Hawk, reminds us that the excellent nature writing can lay bare some of the intimacies of the wild world as well. Her book is so good that, at times, it hurt me to read it. It draws blood, in ways that seem curative.” – Dwight Garner, the New York Times

H is for Hawk has now been translated into 25 different languages and is being developed into a movie by Game of Thrones star Lena Headey.

Along with peaking the interest of many, it has been claimed as one of President Obama’s favorite reads as well. This past summer, Macdonald’s book made its mark by topping Obama’s summer reading list.

Macdonald writes for the New York Times Magazine and is filming a BBC/PBS documentary on hawks both wild and tame. Her other books include Shaler’s Fish, and Falcon. She is an affiliated research scholar at the University of Cambridge Department of History and Philosophy of Science.

This book is both heart-wrenching and humorous, giving an unflinching account of bereavement along with giving insight and a unique take on the magnetism of an extraordinary beast from an outstanding writer; a divine take on a story of madness, history, and Macdonald’s “re-obsession” with creatures that have fascinated and terrified her since she was a girl.

In her transcendent voice, Macdonald will discuss her humorous yet unflinching account of personal transformation and the unique magnetism of an extraordinary animal. Books will also be available for purchase and signing.

“There is a time in life when you expect the world to be always full of new things. And then comes a day when you realise that is not how it will be at all. You see that life will become a thing made of holes. Absences. Losses. Things that were there and are no longer. And you realise, too, that you have to grow around and between the gaps.” – Helen Macdonald, H is for Hawk

Tickets for Helen Macdonald are $30.75/$20.05. To see this unique award-winning author contact the Marshall Artists Series Box Office at 304-696-6656. Or order tickets online at Ticketmaster.com. You may also visit our box office located in the Joan C. Edwards Playhouse on the Marshall University campus. Box office hours are Monday through Friday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

H is for Hawk is sponsored by Trifecta Productions, WVHU, B97, WSAZ, The Herald Dispatch, Marshall University, and the Marshall Artists Series.