Helen MacDonald's 'H is for Hawk' is a favorite of ours and so her forthcoming essay collection is a perfect follow-up to that memoir. These deeply considered essays cover a lot of what you'd expect: MacDonald investigates the human relationship with animals, especially birds, teases out the implications of climate change, considers more autobiographical elements, and more. Beautifully written, with characteristic insight and erudition, Vesper Flights offers further proof that this is one of our best writers working today. — From Recommended Preorders
Animals don't exist in order to teach us things, but that is what they have always done, and most of what they teach us is what we think we know about ourselves.
In Vesper Flights Helen Macdonald brings together a collection of her best loved essays, along with new pieces on topics ranging from nostalgia for a vanishing countryside to the tribulations of farming ostriches to her own private vespers while trying to fall asleep.
Meditating on notions of captivity and freedom, immigration and flight, Helen invites us into her most intimate experiences: observing the massive migration of songbirds from the top of the Empire State Building, watching tens of thousands of cranes in Hungary, seeking the last golden orioles in Suffolk's poplar forests. She writes with heart-tugging clarity about wild boar, swifts, mushroom hunting, migraines, the strangeness of birds' nests, and the unexpected guidance and comfort we find when watching wildlife.
By one of this century's most important and insightful nature writers, Vesper Flights is a captivating and foundational book about observation, fascination, time, memory, love and loss and how we make sense of the world around us.