Back in July, I posted a few nonfiction recommendations and was super excited about Helen MacDonald’s H is for Hawk. Well, on Tuesday, Helen won the Samuel Johnson Prize, which is the UK’s top prize for nonfiction! It’s basically like winning a Booker for NF. Huge deal.
I am beyond thrilled — Helen is awesome, as is her book. It’s a memoir about her grief upon the sudden death of her father, her experience training a goshawk, and a biography of T.H. White (author of The Sword in the Stone and The Once and Future King), who was also a falconer who wrote about his attempt to train a goshawk.
In addition to being a writer and falconer, Helen’s a poet, so her writing is simply gorgeous. I’ve been chatting up the book to everyone, but don’t just take my word for it — she won the freaking SJ Prize!
Here’s a short BBC interview** with Helen from right after the awards announcement:
* Title grabbed from Mary:
H is for Hooray! @HelenJMacdonald
— Mary Lurking (@LizardAcres) November 4, 2014
** via another falconer friend, John/Dr. Hypercube