Grief is the Thing With Feathers by Max Porter

Grief is the Thing With Feathers

Max Porter

Crow is one of three narrators, together with Dad and Boys, who describe the aftermath of the wife/mother's death in a poignant, blackly comic and sometimes bewildering manner. I was swept along in the family's experience of grief and loss through this disturbing, touching, powerful and linguistically inventive prose-poetry novella. Not an easy read, both stylistically and plot-wise, but one that will definitely stay with you.


And the babes flung their duvets back in abandon, swung their little legs over the edge of the bed and scampered down the stairs. The chambers of their baffled baby hearts filled with yearning and they tingled, they bounded down towards before, before, before all this. The father, drunk on the voice of his beloved, raced down after them. The sound of her voice was stinging, like a moon-dragged starvation surging into every hopeless raw vacant pore, undoing, exquisite undoing.

'We are coming, Mum!'

Their friend and houseguest, who was a crow, stopped them at the door.

  • Crow: From the Life and Songs of the Crow by Ted Hughes
  • H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
  • The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe