Helen MacDonald’s H Is for Hawk: Book club and discussion.

Is H Is for Hawk a Memoir, a Ghost Story, a Nature Book, or Something Else Entirely? 

Is H Is for Hawk a Memoir, a Ghost Story, a Nature Book, or Something Else Entirely? 

Discussing new and classic works.
May 8 2015 10:58 AM

The Audio Book Club Flies With H Is for Hawk

Slate critics debate Helen MacDonald’s shape-shifting grief memoir.


To listen to the Audio Book Club discussion of H Is For Hawk, click the arrow on the player below.

This month, Slate critics Meghan O’Rourke, Julia Turner, and Katy Waldman discuss the slippery and bewitching new book by Helen MacDonald, H Is for Hawk. Does it conform to or explode the conventions of the typical memoir? Which of its many themes—animals, grief, history, family, England, and T.H. White, to name just a few—is its “real” subject, and does it matter? How should we read this woman’s account of her sojourn in falconry’s “boys’ club”?


Check out Slate’s review of H Is for Hawk here.

Next month the Audio Book Club will dig into Anthony Doerr’s Pulitzer Prize-winning All the Light We Cannot See. Read the book and stay tuned for our discussion in June!

Visit our Audio Book Club archive page for a complete list of the more than 75 books we’ve discussed over the years. Or you can listen to any of our previous club meetings through our iTunes feed.


Podcast produced by Abdul Rufus and Andy Bowers.

Meghan O’Rourke is Slate’s culture critic and an advisory editor. She was previously an editor at the New Yorker. The Long Goodbye, a memoir about her mother’s death, is now out in paperback.

Julia Turner, the former editor in chief of Slate, is a regular on Slate’s Culture Gabfest podcast.

Katy Waldman is a Slate staff writer.