Helen Macdonald returns with an essay collection centered on our relationship to the world around us. Whether she’s discussing migration patterns, mushroom hunting, or returning to her childhood stomping grounds, MacDonald paints an eloquent and illuminating portrayal of the natural world. Recommended By Mary Jo S., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
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.
"[An] altogether memorable collection....Exemplary writing about the intersection of the animal and human worlds." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
"An inviting collection...infused with wonder, nostalgia, and melancholy." Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Helen Macdonald is a writer, poet, illustrator, historian, and
naturalist, and an affiliated research scholar at the Department of
History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge, where
she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses. She also worked as a
Research Fellow at Jesus College, Cambridge. She is the author of a
cultural history of falcons, titled Falcon, and three collections
of poetry. As a professional falconer, she assisted with the management
of raptor research and conservation projects across Eurasia.