Grief is the thing with feathers : a novel / Max Porter.

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  • Additional Information
    • Abstract:
      Summary: 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 sentimental bird is drawn to the grieving family and threatens to stay until they no longer need him. As weeks turn to months and the pain of loss gives way to memories, the little unit of three starts to heal. In this extraordinary debut - part novella, part polyphonic fable, part essay on grief - 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.-- Source other than the Library of Congress.
    • Notes:
      "First published in 2015 by Faber & Faber Ltd., London"--Title page verso.
    • ISBN:
      9781555977412 (pbk.)
      1555977413 (pbk.)
    • Accession Number:
    • Accession Number:
    • Accession Number:
  • Citations
    • ABNT:
      PORTER, M. Grief is the thing with feathers : a novel. [s. l.]: Graywolf Press, 2016. ISBN 9781555977412. Disponível em: Acesso em: 22 fev. 2020.
    • AMA:
      Porter M. Grief Is the Thing with Feathers : A Novel. Graywolf Press; 2016. Accessed February 22, 2020.
    • APA:
      Porter, M. (2016). Grief is the thing with feathers : a novel. Graywolf Press.
    • Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date:
      Porter, Max. 2016. Grief Is the Thing with Feathers : A Novel. Graywolf Press.
    • Harvard:
      Porter, M. (2016) Grief is the thing with feathers : a novel. Graywolf Press. Available at: (Accessed: 22 February 2020).
    • Harvard: Australian:
      Porter, M 2016, Grief is the thing with feathers : a novel, Graywolf Press, viewed 22 February 2020, .
    • MLA:
      Porter, Max. Grief Is the Thing with Feathers : A Novel. Graywolf Press, 2016. EBSCOhost,
    • Chicago/Turabian: Humanities:
      Porter, Max. Grief Is the Thing with Feathers : A Novel. Graywolf Press, 2016.
    • Vancouver/ICMJE:
      Porter M. Grief is the thing with feathers : a novel [Internet]. Graywolf Press; 2016 [cited 2020 Feb 22]. Available from:


Booklist Reviews 2016 May #1

*Starred Review* After the death of Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes published Crow: From the Life and Songs of the Crow (1970), a book of poetry that invoked world mythologies and folklore and is largely considered to have ushered in an important second stage in his career. Drawing on the myth of Crow, Porter delivers a staggering tale of a father grappling with the sudden loss of his wife in this sharply poetic and darkly stunning debut novel. Dad, a Hughes scholar, struggles to tend to his sons and complete his next manuscript, all the while plagued by the talkative, awful, and hilarious Crow. The embodiment of grief, Crow speaks in nonsense singsong that becomes increasingly eerie in its relentless humor. The Boys narrate from various points in their lives, uncomprehending children one moment, compassionate adults the next, never one or the other speaking, always both together, undifferentiated. This masterful ploy unhinges the story from any singular point of view, enabling the novel to float, unfixed in time. The result is a truly exceptional work of fiction, published in the UK last year to widespread acclaim. Readers will not soon forget Porter's distinct style, which evokes the excruciating intimacy of American novelist Justin Torres (We the Animals, 2011). Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

LJ Reviews 2016 April #2

In this remarkable debut, a man grief-stricken by his wife's sudden death stumbles around the house, ignoring his writings on Ted Hughes's poetry and unable to care for his two boys. Then he answers the door and is whacked backward by a huge, decayed-smelling crow, the mystical black embodiment of his sorrow. A self-described trickster there both to torment the man ("For a little break in the mourning, I will give you something to think about") and to push him through his suffering, Crow speaks oracularly in shimmering passages that alternate with those of Dad and Boys. VERDICT Like a prose poem in its splendid language but with its own swift flow, this is highly recommended for ambitious readers.

[Page 84]. (c) Copyright 2016 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

PW Reviews 2016 February #5

Porter's first novel is a heartbreaking and life-affirming meditation on the dislocating power of grief. Events are presented from the viewpoint of three characters: a recently widowed dad, his two young boys, and a talking crow who, like Poe's raven, roosts in their house as a tangible symbol of the family's need to come to terms with their loss. The husband has been recently contracted to write a study of Ted Hughes's Crow (written after the death of Sylvia Plath, who is also referenced here), and like the Hughes's trickster Crow, this Crow shifts shape and personality to address the changing needs of the different family members. Porter's characters express their feelings through observations that are profound and simply phrased. The dad recalls the harmonious feeling of lives shared early in his marriage, "when our love was settling into the shape of our lives like cake mixture reaching the corners of the tin as it swells and bakes." The boys, dismayed at how protectively adults coddle them against the reality of their mother's death, wonder, "Where are the fire engines? Where is the noise and clamour of an event like this?" The powerful emotions evoked in this novel will resonate with anyone who has experienced love, loss, and mourning. (June)

[Page ]. Copyright 2016 PWxyz LLC