Books

‘Grief Is The Thing With Feathers’: The Healing Touch Of Max Porter’s Words

TW – Bereavement

Grief is a very strange feeling. Familiar yet foreign. Empty but all-consuming. Writers continuously find new ways to translate grief onto the page. Readers, including myself, desperately find comfort in their work. In these few weeks before my grandad’s memorial, I returned to Max Porter’s debut novel, ‘Grief Is the Thing With Feathers’. It left me questioning how a first piece could have the nerve to be this good, succeeding in expressing what many have failed to express.

The narrative is a beautiful combination of prose, poetry, dialogue and essay – radically leaving itself impossible to be defined as a single medium. In Porter’s own words, “pure prose was an inappropriate vehicle to convey the chaos and shaking experience of grief.” It wouldn’t make sense for a novel to have conciseness and linearity when the personal narrative of bereavement completely lacks those. His writing presents a voice and story that has spoken to millions, including myself.

Porter chooses to embody grief through the character of Crow: a grotesque, yet comforting creature which visits a widowed father and his two boys. Call it a bizarre ‘Mary Poppins’, if you will. Inspired by a similar feathered protagonist in Ted Hughes’ collection ‘Crow’, Porter spins the bird’s image into something new – a presence more imposing and comical. As Ali Smith once put it, “books will make books, and they will continue to make more books.” Words have the power to inspire and heal.


Follow Concrete on Twitter to stay up to date


17/08/2021

About Author

Laura Patterson



Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /home/wp_35pmrq/concrete-online.co.uk/wp-content/themes/citynews/tpl/tpl-related-posts.php on line 11

Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /home/wp_35pmrq/concrete-online.co.uk/wp-content/themes/citynews/tpl/tpl-related-posts.php on line 26
Calendar
October 2021
M T W T F S S
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031
Latest Comments
About Us

The University of East Anglia’s official student newspaper. Concrete is in print and online.

If you would like to get in touch, email the Editor on Concrete.Editor@uea.ac.uk. Follow us at @ConcreteUEA.