A Magpie Memoir

Frieda Hughes author


Publisher:Profile Books Ltd

Published:27th Apr '23


Available to order, but very limited on stock - if we have issues obtaining a copy, we will let you know.

This hardback is available in another edition too:

George cover

'He was a hectic, unprincipled bird, but it was impossible not to love him' ... a memoir of love, obsession and feathers

'A magical, endearing memoir ... the literary romance of the year' Oprah 'A charming diary of life with a tame magpie - despite George's bad behaviour, it will render corvid lovers (like me) green with envy!' Katherine May, author of Wintering A Times Best Book to Watch Out For in 2023 A Guardian Books highlight for the year ahead Then, just in time, before I swung the spade again, I saw, right by the blade and camouflaged by the leaves on the ground, a magpie chick. It squatted belligerently, peering up at me with miniature magpie fury. George. When Frieda Hughes moved to the depths of the Welsh countryside, she was expecting to take on a few projects: planting a garden, painting and writing her poetry column for the Times. But instead, she found herself rescuing a baby magpie, the sole survivor of a nest destroyed in a storm - and embarking on an obsession that would change the course of her life. As the magpie, George, grows from a shrieking scrap of feathers and bones into an intelligent, unruly companion, Frieda finds herself captivated - and apprehensive of what will happen when the time comes to finally set him free.

A magical, endearing memoir of her relationship with a baby bird she rescued and raised in her kitchen. The improbable relationship between the unruly and intelligent magpie George and the witty Hughes is the literary romance of the year -- Oprah
Quirky, tender, funny, beautifully observed * Daily Mail *
Charming * Independent *
[An] irresistible memoir... direct and painfully honest * Irish Times *
Intriguing ... tremendous ... accomplished * Spectator *
Thoughtful and deeply moving * Literary Review *
Delightful * Oldie *
Candid ... interspersed with poems and homely sketches of George, Hughes's memoir has an enveloping quality to it that brings us inside the lively world she created for herself * Irish Independent *
A poignantly heart-warming delight ... illustrated throughout with pen-and-ink drawings, this charming memoir about the author's accidental adventures in avian rescue offers tantalizing insights into her struggle to fly free * Kirkus *
A charming diary of life with a tame magpie - despite George's bad behaviour, it will render corvid lovers (like me) green with envy! -- Katherine May, author * Wintering *
In this funny, tender memoir, Frieda Hughes casts a brilliant light into her relationship with George, a member of the most beautiful and fascinating of avian species, the magpie. As she shows us the challenges, frustrations, anxieties, love and joy which may be gained by closeness to another being, Frieda Hughes perfectly illustrates how our lives may be enriched and expanded by the experience -- Esther Woolfson, author * Corvus *
There is an astringent beauty to Frieda Hughes' George. It's one of those books that appears to be about one thing-in this case, hand-rearing the eponymous orphan magpie-whilst being about something altogether more profound: love, loss and how inextricably linked they are. Love comes alive in Hughes' pages as an act of acute attentiveness. Loss lingers in the margins, but George doesn't baulk at the shadows. Instead, this book pulses with a defiant wonder at the living world, as wild and unruly as our feathered hero. -- Polly Morland, author * A Fortunate Woman: A Country Doctor's Story *
Reading this book was like coming home. You'll be transported to Frieda's kitchen table in Wales, where she'll tell you her moving and funny story over a steaming mug of tea - three dogs on her lap - and a magpie perched on her head. Yet more proof - if it were needed - of how connecting to the wildlife around us has the power to put our troubles into perspective, teach us lessons about life, and provide solace for a bruised soul. Curl up in a comfy chair, make yourself a large pot of tea, and immerse yourself in the world of Frieda and George. You won't regret it -- Charlie Corbett, author * 12 Birds to Save Your Life: Nature's Lessons in Happiness *
George the magpie trashes the author's house, terrifies the cleaning lady, and helps tank her failing marriage--and yet you cannot help falling madly in love with him. Frieda Hughes observes this little black and white bird with the meticulous eye of a naturalist and the penetrating lyricism and of a poet. This book is a joy from beginning to end -- Sy Montgomery, author * The Soul of an Octopus *
With irresistible humour and heart, Frieda invites us along on her unlikely journey toward joy and connection ... you will fall in love with wildlife * OX Magazine *

ISBN: 9781800814790

Dimensions: 220mm x 140mm x 30mm

Weight: 440g

272 pages