Max Porter

Max Porter

Grief is the Thing with Feathers

Novel Writers/
Thu 29 October 2015

Max Porter

Grief is the Thing with Feathers

Max Porter
Thu 29 October 2015,

Each month Spike Island in partnership with Bristol Festival of Ideas invites a debut novelist to read from and talk about their work in a relaxed, informal setting. Extracts from the texts are available in advance, but prior knowledge of the text is not essential. Topics of discussion include theme, structure, inspiration and the craft of writing. These sessions are a great way to discover new writing talent and great books.

Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter

In a London flat, two young boys face the unbearable sadness of their mother’s sudden death. Their father, a Ted Hughes scholar and scruffy romantic, imagines a future of well-meaning visitors and emptiness. In this moment of despair they are visited by Crow – antagonist, trickster, healer, babysitter. This self-described sentimental bird is attracted to the grieving family and threatens to stay until they no longer need him. As weeks turn to months and physical pain of loss gives way to memories, this little unit of three begin to heal. In this extraordinary debut novella, Max Porter’s compassion and bravura style combine to dazzling effect. Full of unexpected humour and profound emotional truth, Grief is the Thing with Feathers marks the arrival of a thrilling new talent.

 I found it utterly astonishing. Truly, truly remarkable. At once deeply affecting and fiercely intelligent, an elegy and a celebration … [T]o my mind what elevates Porter’s work is the interplay of caustic wit and genuine pathos, and the raw humanity of the piece.  – Nathan Filer

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