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A Virtual Afternoon With Helen Macdonald In Conversation With J. Drew Lanham

Sunday, September 13, 2020 @ 1:00 pm

On Demand (Virtual)

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Join us as we welcome bestselling author Helen Macdonald in conversation with J. Drew Lanham!

Helen Macdonald’s bestselling debut H is for Hawk brought the astonishing story of her relationship with goshawk Mabel to global critical acclaim and announced Macdonald as one of our most insightful nature writers. H is for Hawk was a publishing phenomenon, garnering prizes, countless “best of the year” accolades, and the adoration of readers. Following in the wake of H is for Hawk, her semi-regular column in the New York Times Magazine also established Macdonald as our preeminent nature essayist.

In VESPER FLIGHTS (Grove Press, $27.00), Macdonald brings together her best loved essays that explore the human relationship with the natural world along with new pieces in a collection both moving and frank, personal and political. Meditating on notions of captivity and freedom, immigration and flight, Helen invites us into her most intimate experiences: observing massive migrations 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, twentieth-century spies, the strangeness of birds’ nests, and the unexpected guidance and comfort we find when watching wildlife.

VESPER FLIGHTS is a captivating and foundational book about observation and surveillance, fascination, time, memory, solitude, love and loss and how we make sense of the world around us by one of this century’s most important and insightful nature writers.

About the Author

HELEN MACDONALD is a writer, poet, naturalist and historian of science. Her book H is for Hawk won many prizes, including the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction, the Costa Book of the Year, the Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger in France, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction. She is a frequent contributor to the New York Times Magazine, and lives in Suffolk, England.

About the Moderator

A native of Edgefield, South Carolina, J. DREW LANHAM is the author of The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature, which received the Reed Award from the Southern Environmental Law Center and the Southern Book Prize, and was a finalist for the John Burroughs Medal. He is a birder, naturalist, and hunter-conservationist who has published essays and poetry in publications including Orion, Audubon, Flycatcher, and Wilderness, and in several anthologies, including The Colors of Nature, State of the Heart, Bartram’s Living Legacy, and Carolina Writers at Home. An Alumni Distinguished Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Master Teacher at Clemson University, he and his family live in the Upstate of South Carolina, a soaring hawk’s downhill glide from the southern Appalachian escarpment that the Cherokee once called the Blue Wall.


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