We Cannot Love What Is Not

HisforHawk

Helen MacDonald’s memoir, H is for Hawk, is about falconry as mourning in the wake of her father’s sudden death. It’s a unique project, with a lot of love and pain built in. I wouldn’t have thought to read it until two Conceivable Future participants testified independently about their great love of falconry, and I’m very glad I did.

But what struck me most about MacDonald’s book is the way climate change is present throughout, without being the intended subject. I haven’t read much else that captures the way this massive, uninvited guest wanders into all our chosen disciplines, casting its deadening shadow. Here, toward the end of the book, she faces it head-on.

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