Four Colman Getty has worked with the Samuel Johnson Prize for 16 years, and this week were pleased to announce Helen Macdonald as the winner of the 2014 prize, for her book H is For Hawk.
H is For Hawk tells the story of how the death of Helen’s father triggered her to follow a childhood dream and become a falconer, obsessed with the idea of training her own goshawk. The book is an unflinchingly honest account of her struggle with grief during the difficult process of the hawk's taming and her own untaming. At the same time, it's a kaleidoscopic biography of the brilliant and troubled novelist T. H. White, author of The Goshawk, in which he describes his own struggle to train a hawk.
Claire Tomalin, chair of judges, comments:
‘Congratulations to Helen Macdonald, who has written a book unlike any other, about an obsession with a wild creature, brought to life in prose sometimes technical and always striking, and set in English landscapes observed with a visionary eye. Writing about wild life and the environment has never been better or better informed than this.’
Four Colman Getty handles the submissions and publicity for the prize, as well as organising the celebratory dinner where the winner is announced.