Grief Is The Thing With Feathers

Max Porter

First Sentence:     There’s a feather on my pillow.

Back of the book:

In a London flat, two young boys face the unbearable sadness of their mother’s sudden death. Their father, a Ted Hughes scholar and scruffy romantic, imagines a future of well-meaning visitors and emptiness.

In this moment of despair they are visited by Crow – antagonist, trickster, healer, babysitter. This sentimental bird is drawn to the grieving family and threatens to stay until they no longer need him.

As weeks turn to months and the pain of loss gives way to memories, the little unit of three starts to heal.

In this extraordinary debut – part novella, part polyphonic fable, part essay on grief – Max Porter’s compassion and bravura style combine to dazzling effect. Full of unexpected humour and profound emotional truth, Grief Is the Thing with Feathers marks the arrival of a thrilling new talent.

Quotes from the book:

‘Holiday and school became the same.’

I remember being scared that something must, surely, go wrong, if we were this happy, her and me, in the early days, when our love was settling into the shape of our lives like cake mixture reaching the corners of the tin as it swells and bakes.

‘Caught baffled by the perplexing slow-release of sadness for ever and ever and ever.’

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Last Sentence:     Everything.