Featherhood - Charlie Samson Gilmour

9781474609470

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Title
Featherhood - on birds and fathers
Author
Charlie Samson Gilmour
format
Hardback
Publisher
Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Language
English
UK Publication Date
20200827

'One of the best books I have ever read. Incredibly moving' Elton John

'I cant recommend it too highly' Helen Macdonald

'Ranks among the best modern coming-of-age memoirs' Sunday Times

'Where Helen Macdonald's H Is For Hawk meets Gerald Durrell's My Family And Other Animals ... Remarkable' Daily Mail

'Beautiful, wise, compassionate and powerful' Isabella Tree

This is a story about birds and fathers.

About the young magpie that fell from its nest in a Bermondsey junkyard into Charlie Gilmour's life - and swiftly changed it. Demanding worms around the clock, riffling through his wallet, sharing his baths and roosting in his hair...

About the jackdaw kept at a Cornish stately home by Heathcote Williams, anarchist, poet, magician, stealer of Christmas, and Charlie's biological father who vanished from his life in the dead of night.

It is a story about repetition across generations and birds that run in the blood; about a terror of repeating the sins of the father and a desire to build a nest of one's own.

It is a story about change - from wild to tame; from sanity to madness; from life to death to birth; from freedom to captivity and back again, via an insane asylum, a prison and a magpie's nest.

And ultimately, it is the story of a love affair between a man and a magpie.


'An incisive, funny and at times traumatic study of the damage done by destructive father-son relationships and the struggle to smash generational cycles' Evening Standard


'A personal reckoning which is simultaneously brutal and joyous. I was entranced' Cathy Rentzenbrink


'A beautiful book - it made me cry' Simon Amstell

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Here's what you say about us...

Charlie Gilmour was born in 1989 and raised in London and Sussex. He read history at Cambridge University, with a brief interlude in 2011 at Her Majesty's Prison Wandsworth. He lives in South London with his wife, Janina, and their daughter, Olga.

Featherhood is one of the best books I've ever read. I urge you to seek it out, buy it, and be enchanted. It's incredibly moving and I loved every single page
Elton John

The best piece of nature writing since H is for Hawk, and the most powerful work of biography I have read in years. It announces Charlie Gilmour as a major new writing talent
Neil Gaiman

Wonderful - I can't recommend it too highly
Helen Macdonald, author of H IS FOR HAWK

Beautiful, wise, compassionate and powerful, Featherhood is one of those rare, enchanted books that sings to the soul of what it is to be


Isabella Tree, author of WILDING

What a book! I was entranced. A personal reckoning which is simultaneously brutal and joyous. It's full of light. I want to tell everyone about it
Cathy Rentzenbrink, author of THE LAST ACT OF LOVE

This stunning memoir flashes with as many colours as its enchanting subject, and draws us into a world of eccentric characters impossible to predict or forget. Savage, mischievous, moving, sublime
Rhik Samadder, author of I NEVER SAID I LOVED YOU

FEATHERHOOD, it would be tempting to say, is where Helen Macdonald's H Is For Hawk meets Gerald Durrell's My Family And Other Animals. But Charlie Gilmour's memoir is so original and ingeniously wrought, it stands on its own as a book to which others will surely be compared... Gilmour's language is as precise as his gaze is forensic. He is something of a magician himself, conjuring whole vivid personalities with a few deft strokes of his pen... He can slay you with his succinct summoning of a small boy's struggles... and he can dazzle you with the gem-like images of nature he creates which, like all writers who draw you into their orbit, thrum with life... Remarkable.'
DAILY MAIL, Book of the Week - Ginny Dougary

It is wise, self-aware, never forced, often funny, beautifully crafted, and, in the end, as moving as Kes, that other great work about a boy who is given the gift of liberation by a bird.
MAIL ON SUNDAY - Craig Brown

A soaring debut... A sincere and searing tale of loss, addictive despair, the redemptive power of love, the natural world and a shit-dropping, feather-moulting talking magpie... This will undoubtedly be held up alongside H Is for Hawk, Helen Macdonald's memoir that saw her tame her grief and a bird of prey in her living room. But Featherhood is an equal, if not better, work of magpie investigation that ranks among the best modern coming-of-age memoirs.
SUNDAY TIMES CULTURE - Helen Davies

A profound exploration of grief, fragmented families, nature versus nurture and whether we are doomed to repeat the sins of our fathers. But it is also a gladdening celebration of what it is to nurture and bring forth new life.
SUNDAY EXPRESS S MAGAZINE - Caroline Sanderson

A beautiful book, sensitive and compelling - it made me cry
Simon Amstell

I loved Featherhood. About nature and growth, about belonging and not belonging, it is beautiful
Andrew O'Hagan, author of THE ILLUMINATIONS

Utterly absorbing, astonishingly well-written, full of heart, Featherhood is the most arresting book I've read for a very long time
Cressida Connolly, author of AFTER THE PARTY

The extraordinary story of an extraordinary family
Sophie Heawood, author of THE HANGOVER GAMES

Featherhood is an incisive, funny and at times traumatic study of the damage done by destructive father-son relationships and the struggle to smash generational cycles.
EVENING STANDARD - David Marsland

A wonderful, moving book. His account of raising a young magpie offers a lovely insight into this fascinating bird
James Macdonald Lockhart, author of RAPTOR

[An] affecting and beautifully written memoir.
THE BOOKSELLER, Editor's Choice

Type
BOOK
Keyword Index
Human-animal relationships.|Magpies.
Country of Publication
England
Number of Pages
277

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