H is for Hawk
|Awards||Samuel Johnson Prize, Costa Book of the Year|
H is for Hawk tells Macdonald's story of the year she spent training a northern goshawk in the wake of her father's death. Her father, Alisdair Macdonald, was a respected photojournalist who died suddenly of a heart attack in 2007. Having been a falconer for many years, she purchased a young goshawk to help her through the grieving process.
In an interview with The Guardian, Macdonald said, "While the backbone of the book is a memoir about that year when I lost my father and trained a hawk, there are also other things tangled up in that story which are not memoir. There is the shadow biography of TH White, and a lot of nature-writing, too. I was trying to let these different genres speak to each other."
Judges of the Samuel Johnson Prize specifically highlighted that marriage of genres as one of the reasons for selecting H is for Hawk as the winner.
An extract of this book is also part of the anthology of Edexcel English Language IGCSE in the new specification.
Awards and honours
- 2014 Samuel Johnson Prize, winner
- 2014 Costa Book of the Year, winner.
- 2014 Duff Cooper Prize, shortlist.
- 2015 Thwaites Wainwright Prize, longlist.
- 2015 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction, shortlist.
- 2016 Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger, winner
- Cambridge News, Interview: Cambridge author Helen Macdonald on grief, goshawks, and her best-selling book, H is for Hawk Archived 2015-02-06 at the Wayback Machine, Cambridge News, 7 September 2014.
- Stephen Moss, Helen Macdonald: a bird’s eye view of love and loss, The Guardian, 5 November 2014.
- "H is for Hawk: A New Chapter". BBC. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
- Clark, Nick. "Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction: Helen Macdonald wins with 'H is for Hawk'". The Independent. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
- "Helen Macdonald wins Costa Book of the Year 2014". BBC News. 27 January 2015. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
- "'H is for Hawk' shortlisted for the 2014 Duff Cooper Prize, longlisted for the 2014 Thwaites Wainwright Prize 2015". The Marsh Agency. Archived from the original on 9 February 2015. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
- "2016 Carnegie Medals Shortlist Announced". American Libraries Magazine. October 19, 2015. Retrieved November 15, 2015.
- "Meilleur livre étranger | Book awards | LibraryThing". www.librarything.com. Retrieved 22 October 2017.