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Helen Macdonald: H is for Hawk

Thursday 25th June 2015 7pm - 8pm 107 Charing Cross Road Literary Event, Chargeable Event


To train a hawk you must watch it like a hawk, and so gain the ability to predict what it will do next. Eventually you don't see the hawk's body language at all. You seem to feel what it feels. The hawk's apprehension becomes your own. As the days passed and I put myself in the hawk's wild mind to tame her, my humanity was burning away.

On Thursday 25th June, Foyles is delighted to host an evening with Helen Macdonald, author of H is for Hawk, winner of both the Costa Book of the Year and the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction. Natural writing has seen a considerable revival of interest in recent years and H is for Hawk, distinguished by Macdonald's profound, lyrical and meditative prose, is certainly among the most captivating examples.

But while the book is ostensibly a study of the challenges of training a goshawk she names Mabel, it also crosses over into other territory. Macdonald reflects on how her days on the Cambridgeshire fens, bonding with a creature driven by primal instincts, also gave her a way to begin to grieve for the sudden death of her photojournalist father. She also draws parallels her experiences with those of the troubled writer TH White—author of the Arthurian sequence, The Once and Future King, an acknowledged influence on JK Rowling's Harry Potter books—who detailed his own frustrated efforts trying to train a hawk, as recorded in his book, The Goshawk.

This event will be chaired by Jonathan Ruppin, Web Editor at Foyles.


Venue: The Auditorium at Foyles, Level 6, 107 Charing Cross Road

Tickets: £8. Simply add the required number to the basket below.

Please note, no physical tickets will be issued, the email confirmation you receive is proof of your booking.



We are unable to issue refunds to customers unable to attend the event without at least 24 hours notice. To request a refund of your ticket purchase or purchases, email with your details and request.


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The Goshawk
T. H. White; Marie Winn (intro.)
The Once and Future King
T. H. White
H is for Hawk
Helen Macdonald
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