We will be presenting this event on Zoom. Buy your ticket today. (One ticket includes one copy of Vesper Flights, with a signed bookplate.)
Animals don’t exist in order to teach us things, but that is what they have always done, and most of what they teach us is what we think we know about ourselves.
In Vesper Flights Helen Macdonald brings together a collection of her best loved essays, along with new pieces on topics ranging from nostalgia for a vanishing countryside to the tribulations of farming ostriches to her own private vespers while trying to fall asleep.
Meditating on notions of captivity and freedom, immigration and flight, Helen invites us into her most intimate experiences: observing the massive migration of songbirds from the top of the Empire State Building, watching tens of thousands of cranes in Hungary, seeking the last golden orioles in Suffolk’s poplar forests. She writes with heart-tugging clarity about wild boar, swifts, mushroom hunting, migraines, the strangeness of birds’ nests, and the unexpected guidance and comfort we find when watching wildlife.
By one of this century’s most important and insightful nature writers, Vesper Flights is a captivating and foundational book about observation, fascination, time, memory, love and loss and how we make sense of the world around us.
Praise for Vesper Flights
“[An] altogether memorable collection . . . Exemplary writing about the intersection of the animal and human worlds.” ―Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
"“An inviting collection… infused with wonder, nostalgia, and melancholy." ―Publishers Weekly
Praise for H is for Hawk:
“Breathtaking . . . Helen Macdonald renders an indelible impression of a raptor’s fierce essence―and her own―with words that mimic feathers, so impossibly pretty we don’t notice their astonishing engineering.”―New York Times Book Review (cover review)
“Beautiful and nearly feral...H Is for Hawk reminds us that excellent nature writing can lay bare some of the intimacies of the wild world as well.” ―New York Times
“Macdonald is a poet, her language rich and taut.”―Chicago Tribune
“Captivating and beautifully written, it’s a meditation on the bond between beasts and humans and the pain and beauty of being alive.” ―People (Book of the Week)
Helen Macdonald is a writer, poet, illustrator and naturalist, and an affiliated research scholar at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge. She is the author of the bestselling H Is for Hawk, as well as a cultural history of falcons, titled Falcon, and three collections of poetry, including Shaler’s Fish. Macdonald was a Research Fellow at Jesus College, Cambridge, has worked as a professional falconer, and has assisted with the management of raptor research and conservation projects across Eurasia. She now writes for the New York Times Magazine.
Jeff VanderMeer is the NYT-bestselling, critically acclaimed author of the Southern Reach trilogy, winner of the Shirley Jackson Award and translated into 35 languages. He has been called “the weird Thoreau” by the New Yorker. His most recent novels include the YA fantasy misadventure A Peculiar Peril and the surreal experimental novel Dead Astronauts. His eco-thriller Hummingbird Salamander will be released in April of 2021. With his wife Ann he recently edited The Big Book of Modern Fantasy. VanderMeer frequently speaks on environmental issues and has spent the last two years rewilding his yard in Tallahassee, Florida.