MacDonald returns to world of hawks in BBC documentary

MacDonald returns to world of hawks in BBC documentary

The BBC will broadcast a documentary about author Helen Macdonald’s return to the world of goshawks later this month.

It follows her rediscovery of the hawks three years after the publication of the award winning H is for Hawk (Jonathan Cape) and will be broadcast on 19th October. 

The 2014 title, a blend of grief memoir, biography and nature writing, won many accolades including the Costa Book of the Year Award in 2015 and the 2014 Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction. It followed the story of how she trained a goshawk, Mabel, in the months after her father died.

Ten years since her father’s death and five years since Mabel died “H Is For Hawk: A New Chapter” shows the writer choosing another goshawk to train which poses a “raging wild challenge of my future”. She said: “A hawk that won’t be a solution to grief, but my wings to somewhere new.”

In the BBC Two programme, Macdonald asks “wild goshawk guru” to help her find a nest she can watch over the upcoming spring and summer, before heading to the North of England to live with its new owner, a friend of hers and a fellow falconer.

A BBC spokesperson said: “As Helen hides herself away to begin training the new bird, it soon becomes clear that this chick is very different to Mabel - and so begins a process that is, for Helen, at once familiar and strange: the intense process of learning to live with a hawk.”

In 2015, it was revealed that the film rights to H is for Hawk had been bought by "Game of Thrones" actress Lena Headey, who “fell in love” on reading the book.

The book sold 275,159 copies amassing £2.3m according to Nielsen BookScan UK.

“H Is For Hawk: A New Chapter” will be broadcast at 9pm on 19th October on BBC Two.