Grief is the Thing with Feathers might not have the snappiest of titles, but this debut is garnering critical acclaim: ‘Amazing and unforgettable’, The Times; ‘A luminous reading experience’, TLS. The novel (or even novella) has also been longlisted for a Guardian First Book Award and Waterstones Deansgate has it as their September 2016 Book of The Month, so Granta and Portobello books editor Max Porter might be giving up the day job.
The moving yet witty story tells of a Ted Hughes scholar trying to come to terms with the death of his two young sons’ mother. Echoing the title of Hughes’s fourth poetry collection for adults, the fourth main character in Grief is Crow – the bird that to many is a harbinger of doom and a warning of impending death, visiting the family and refusing to leave until it is no longer needed. Max will be discussing the symbolism with award-winning poet Andrew McMillan.