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Author Helen Macdonald To Speak At Westport Library

Author Helen Macdonald will speak March 23 at the Westport Library.
Author Helen Macdonald will speak March 23 at the Westport Library. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Westport Library

WESTPORT, Conn. -- English author Helen Macdonald will discuss her acclaimed memoir "H is for Hawk" at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 23 at the Westport Library's McManus Room.

When Macdonald's father died suddenly on a London street, she was devastated. An experienced falconer — Macdonald had been captivated by hawks since childhood — she'd never considered training one of the most vicious predators, the goshawk. In her grief, she saw that the goshawk's fierce and feral temperament mirrored her own.

Resolving to purchase and raise one of the deadly creatures as a means of coping with her loss, she adopted “Mabel” and turned to the guidance of author T.H. White's chronicle "The Goshawk" to begin her challenging endeavor. Projecting herself "in the hawk's wild mind to tame her" tested the limits of Macdonald's humanity and changed her life.

"H is for Hawk" is a New York Times bestseller and one of its picks as "The 10 Best Books of 2015." The book also won the Samuel Johnson Prize and Costa Book of the Year Award for 2014.

The free program is offered in partnership with Westport’s Earthplace, which will bring its resident hawk. Books will be available for purchase and signing.

The book also will be discussed at the library's regular PageTurners book group at 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 22 in the library's Sheffer Reading room.

For copies of the book, phone (203) 291-4821. New participants are welcome.

The library is at 20 Jesup Road, Westport.

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