Loss is like a current. Like fish, we respond with instinctive movement, ending up where we’re going but not, perhaps, where we intended. For some writers, the waterfall propulsion of grief channels, over time, into extraordinary work. Here are some books eloquent on loss, but greater than that, they reveal nature, character and a profound sense of being in the world, being part of it.
H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald (Vintage books, 2014. Winner of the 2014 Samuel Johnson Prize and 2014 Costa Biography Award.)
The ignition point for H is for Hawk is the death of the author’s father. Macdonald is propelled by grief into a broken English landscape, wild as the bird she takes there to tame. Woven into the story is a biography of writer and would-be falconer T. H. White, which gives the narrative depth and mirror.