Grief Is the Thing with Feathers
oleh Max Porter
Available on backorder
Here he is, husband and father, scruffy romantic, a shambolic scholar–a man adrift in the wake of his wife’s sudden, accidental death. And there are his two sons who like him struggle in their London apartment to face the unbearable sadness that has engulfed them. The father imagines a future of well-meaning visitors and emptiness, while the boys wander, savage and unsupervised.
In this moment of violent despair they are visited by Crow–antagonist, trickster, goad, protector, therapist, and babysitter. This self-described “sentimental bird,” at once wild and tender, who “finds humans dull except in grief,” threatens to stay with the wounded family until they no longer need him. As weeks turn to months and the pain of loss lessens with the balm of memories, Crow’s efforts are rewarded and the little unit of three begins to recover: Dad resumes his book about the poet Ted Hughes; the boys get on with it, grow up.
Part novella, part polyphonic fable, part essay on grief, Max Porter’s extraordinary debut combines compassion and bravura style to dazzling effect. Full of angular wit and profound truths, Grief Is the Thing with Feathers is a startlingly original and haunting debut by a significant new talent.
“Grief Is the Thing with Feathers is heartrending, blackly funny, deeply resonant, a perfect summation of what it means to lose someone but still to love the world–and if it reminds publishers that the best books aren’t always the ones that can be pigeonholed or precis-ed or neatly packaged, so much the better.”
―Sarah Crown, The Guardian
“Like [Ali Smith], Porter has the language-sense to know how to use simple words to get at the toughest of subjects. Like her, he knows how to be playful and serious at once. . . . A blast and a breeze and, strangely, a delight.”
―Jonathan Gibbs, The Independent
“Grief is the Thing with Feathers, by Max Porter (Faber), is his debut and it is a book to cherish. It has the perfect balance of being very sad and very funny, full of darkness and full of light.”