This is a story about birds and fathers.

About the young magpie that fell from its nest in a Bermondsey junkyard into Charlie Gilmour’s life – and swiftly changed it. Demanding worms around the clock, riffling through his wallet, sharing his baths and roosting in his hair…

About the jackdaw kept at a Cornish stately home by Heathcote Williams, anarchist, poet, magician, stealer of Christmas, and Charlie’s biological father who vanished from his life in the dead of night.

It is a story about repetition across generations and birds that run in the blood; about a terror of repeating the sins of the father and a desire to build a nest of one’s own.

It is a story about change – from wild to tame; from sanity to madness; from life to death to birth; from freedom to captivity and back again, via an insane asylum, a prison and a magpie’s nest.

And ultimately, it is the story of a love affair between a man and a magpie.
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Genre: Earth Sciences, Geography, Environment, Planning

On Sale: 27th August 2020

Price: £16.99

ISBN-13: 9781474609470


[An] affecting and beautifully written memoir.
Caroline Sanderson, THE BOOKSELLER, Editor's Choice
This stunning memoir flashes with as many colours as its enchanting subject, and draws us into a world of eccentric characters impossible to predict or forget. Savage, mischievous, moving, sublime
Rhik Samadder, author of I NEVER SAID I LOVED YOU
Featherhood is an astonishing achievement: a book about fathers and their children, about magicians and birds, about the hurt we pass on from generation to generation, and the ways we can try to heal. It's a journey that we take with a magpie, across the decades of Charlie's life, and the life of his biological father. It's the best piece of nature writing since H is for Hawk, and the most powerful work of biography I have read in years. It announces Charlie Gilmour as a major new writing talent, as he weaves words like a poet and offers us continual small treasures like a magpie
Neil Gaiman
Featherhood is a beautiful book, sensitive and compelling - it made me cry
Simon Amstell
A wonderful, moving book. The story of Gilmour's family is deeply felt. His account of raising a young magpie offers a lovely insight into this fascinating bird. The two stories intertwine gracefully and perceptively, bringing solace and understanding with them
James Macdonald Lockhart, author of RAPTOR
What a book! I was entranced. It is so blood soaked and yet so warm, so beautiful, so hopeful. A personal reckoning which is simultaneously brutal and joyous. It's full of light. I have that feeling I have with a very good book that I want to tell everyone about it
Cathy Rentzenbrink, author of THE LAST ACT OF LOVE
The extraordinary story of an extraordinary family
Sophie Heawood, author of THE HANGOVER GAMES
Featherhood is a good time in a weird way - I have never read anything so filthy
Nell Zink, author of THE WALL CREEPER
Beautiful, wise, compassionate and powerful, Featherhood is one of those rare, enchanted books that sings to the soul of what it is to be
Isabella Tree, author of WILDING