Grief Is the Thing with Feathers (Paperback)

Staff Pick Logo
Grief Is the Thing with Feathers Cover Image
Usually Ships in 1-5 Days

Staff Reviews

— From Grief Is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter

"Krickle krackle, hop sniff and tackle, in with the bins, singing the hymns...this is another one of Crow's bad dreams."
A tragic accident in the family swells a London flat with misery, and invites an unlikely creature of recovery into a home adrift and wavering. Narrated by the three remaining parties in an array of disjointed prose and poetry, this debut book is a standout palette-cleanser for any genre.
— From Grief Is The Thing With Feathers, by Max Porter


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.

About the Author

Max Porter works in publishing. He lives in South London with his wife and children. Grief Is the Thing with Feathers is his first book.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781555977412
ISBN-10: 1555977413
Publisher: Graywolf Press
Publication Date: June 7th, 2016
Pages: 128
Language: English