Search: The Stone Bird
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Published: 2 Nov 2017
THE NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER
**WINNER OF THE COSTA BOOK OF THE YEAR**
**WINNER OF THE SAMUEL JOHNSON PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION**
**WINNER OF THE PRIX DU MEILLEUR LIVRE ÉTRANGER**
As a child, Helen Macdonald was determined to become a falconer, learning the arcane terminology and reading all the classic books. Years later, when her father died and she was struck deeply by grief, she became obsessed with the idea of training her own goshawk. She bought Mabel for £800 on a Scottish quayside and took her home to Cambridge, ready to embark on the long, strange business of trying to train this wildest of animals.
H is for Hawk is an unflinchingly honest account of Macdonald's struggle with grief during the difficult process of the hawk's taming and her own untaming. This is a book about memory, nature and nation, and how it might be possible to reconcile death with life and love.
Patrick Kavanagh (Author) , Antoinette Quinn (Edited by)
The centenary of Patrick Kavanagh's birth in 2004 provides the ideal opportunity to reappraise one of modern Ireland's greatest poets. From a harsh, humble background that he himself described so brilliantly, Kavanagh burst through immense constraints to redefine Irish poetry - a poetry appropriate for a fully independent country, both politically and culturally. Moving beyond Irish verse's preoccupation with history, national politics and identity, he turned to the land and scenery of his native Inniskeen, portraying the closely-observed minutiae of everyday rural and urban life in an uninhibited, groundbreaking style. Lucid, various, direct and engaging, Kavanagh's poems have a unique place in the canon and a unique accessibility.
This major new edition is the culmination of many years of work by Antoinette Quinn in creating authoritative texts for Kavanagh's poetry - from his early works such as 'Inniskeen Road: July Evening' to his masterpiece, the epic 'The Great Hunger', allowing us to see the development of Kavanagh's genius as never before.
'Some of the more heart-shaking writing about love and grief I've ever read' Kamila Shamsie, from the introduction
Meatless Days is a searing memoir of life in the newly-created country of Pakistan. When sudden and shocking tragedies hit the author's family two years apart, her personal crisis spirals into a wider meditation on universal questions: about being a woman when you're too busy being a mother or a sister or a wife to consider your own womanhood; about how it feels to begin life in a new language; about how our lives are changed by the people that leave them. This is a heart-breaking, hopeful and profound book that will get under your skin.
The Child's Child is the new crime novel by bestselling, prize-winning author Barbara Vine
What sort of betrayal would drive a brother and sister apart?
When Grace and her brother Andrew inherit their grandmother's house in Hampstead, they decide to move in together. It seems the obvious thing to do: they've always got on well, the house is large enough to split down the middle, and neither of them likes partying or loud music. There's one thing they've forgotten though: what if one of them wants to bring a lover into the house? When Andrew's partner James moves in, it alters the balance - with almost fatal consequences.
Barbara Vine's is the pen-name of Ruth Rendell, and The Child's Child is the first book she has published under that name since The Birthday Present in 2008. It's an intriguing examination of betrayal in families, and of those two once-unmentionable subjects, illegitimacy and homosexuality.
A taut, thrilling read, it will be enjoyed by readers of P.D. James and Ian Rankin.
'Cracking stuff. The Vine continues to flourish . . . (A) miracle of storytelling with her customary aplomb and cool composure' Express on The Child's Child
'The Rendell/Vine partnership has for years been producing consistently better work than most Booker winners put together' Ian Rankin
Ruth rendall has published fourteen novels under the Vine name, two of which, Fatal Inversion and King Solomon's Carpet, won the prestigious Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger Award. Also available in Penguin by Barbara Vine: The Minotaur, The Blood Doctor, Grasshopper, The Chimney Sweeper's Boy, The Brimstone Wedding, No Night is Too Long, Asta's Book, King Solomon's Carpet, Gallowglass, The House of Stairs, A Dark-Adapted Eye.
'Gloriously provocative... female sexuality within a patriarchal world is Chughtai's central concern' Kamila Shamsie, from the introduction
Lifting the Veil is a bold and irreverent collection of writing from India's most controversial feminist writer. These stories celebrate life in all its complexities: from a woman who refuses marriage to a man she loves to preserve her freedom, to a Hindu and a Muslim teenager pulled apart by societal pressures, to eye-opening personal accounts of the charges of obscenity the author faced in court for stories found in this book.
Wickedly funny and unflinchingly honest, Lifting the Veil explores the power of female sexuality while slyly mocking the subtle tyrannies of middle-class life. In 1940s India, an unlikely setting for female rebellion, Ismat Chughtai was a rare and radical storyteller born years ahead of her time.
'A charming and brilliantly entertaining novel... shot through with the light-hearted Nesbit touch' Penelope Lively, from the introduction
"When did two girls of our age have such a chance as we've got - to have a lark entirely on our own? No chaperone, no rules, no..."
"No present income or future prospects," said Lucilla.
It's 1919 and Jane and her cousin Lucilla leave school to find that their guardian has gambled away their money, leaving them with only a small cottage in the English countryside. In an attempt to earn their living, the orphaned cousins embark on a series of misadventures - cutting flowers from their front garden and selling them to passers-by, inviting paying guests who disappear without paying - all the while endeavouring to stave off the attentions of male admirers, in a bid to secure their independence.
Bearded Tit is Rory McGrath's story of life among birds. From a Cornish boyhood wandering gorse-tipped cliffs listening to the song of the yellowhammer with his imaginary girlfriend, or drawing gravity-defying jackdaws in class when he should have been applying himself to physics, to quoting the Latin names of birds to give himself a fighting chance of a future with JJ - the most beautiful girl he had ever seen.
As an adult, or what passes for one, Rory recounts becoming a card-carrying birdwatcher, observing his first skylark - peerless king of the summer sky - while stoned; his repeatedly failed attempts to get up at the crack of dawn like the real twitchers; and his flawed bid to educate his utterly unreconstructed drinking mate Danny in the ways of birding.
Rory's tale is a thoroughly educational, occasionally lyrical and highly amusing romp through the hidden byways of birdwatching and, more importantly, a love story you'll never forget.
Pauline Quirke was a skinny child, a slim teenager, a curvy woman, then - according to her bathroom scales (curse them) - just plain fat. Yes, the 'F' word. Tipping the scales at nearly 20 stone, with creaking knees and a dodgy ankle to boot, at the beginning of 2011 Pauline had reached a crisis point. Something had to change, and fast.
It was never going to be an easy ride, but with her trademark warmth and sense of humour, Pauline recounts the highs and lows of the rollercoaster year in which she whips herself, and her life, into shape - with a fair few tales from her celebrated forty-year acting career thrown into the bargain. She reveals all: from the strain of working long hours away from home on one of Britain's most popular soaps to renewing her wedding vows and reuniting with her Birds of a Feather co-stars; from battling the bulge and facing the naysayers to rediscovering the joys of airline travel . . . without a seatbelt extension.
Honest and revealing, Where Have I Gone? is brimming with brilliantly funny anecdotes and truly moving moments. So put your feet up and join Pauline as she embarks on the most incredible year of her life.
‘Dusk is filling the valley. It is the time of the gloaming, the owl-light.
Out in the wood, the resident tawny has started calling, Hoo-hoo-hoo-h-o-o-o.’
There is something about owls. They feature in every major culture from the Stone Age onwards. They are creatures of the night, and thus of magic. They are the birds of ill-tidings, the avian messengers from the Other Side. But owls – with the sapient flatness of their faces, their big, round eyes, their paternal expressions – are also reassuringly familiar. We see them as wise, like Athena’s owl, and loyal, like Harry Potter's Hedwig. Human-like, in other words.
No other species has so captivated us.
In The Secret Life of the Owl, John Lewis-Stempel explores the legends and history of the owl. And in vivid, lyrical prose, he celebrates all the realities of this magnificent creature, whose natural powers are as fantastic as any myth.
'John Lewis-Stempel is one of the best nature writers of his generation' Country Life
The setting of this extraordinary novel is an old farmhouse in Portugal - a house far enough from the Atlantic not to hear the breaking waves during a storm but near enough for the walls to be corroded by the salt in the air.
With most members of her large family having left the hardship of life in this landscape of sand and stone for jobs in faraway places, a young woman struggles to piece together her past from the many and differing stories she is told. Left behind by a free-spirited, feckless father, a seducer with a talent for drawing, she is raised by her uncle who has married her mother. The only memories of her father's one brief visit are the echoes of his footsteps on the stairs leading to her room. The only signs of him are letters from the widest reaches of the world- letters accompanied by brilliantly coloured drawings of exotic birds: the cuckoo from India, the ibis from Mozambique, the goose from Labrador, the hummingbird from the West Indies. The daughter longs for her father and, as she grows up, she is determined to find him and uncover the truth.
Beautifully written and imagined, this strikingly lyrical novel evokes the atmosphere of a rural community in a changing world and explores the timeless themes of family, independence, and the often painful experience of emigration.