Grief is the Thing with Feathers is a refreshingly original read.  It is a slim volume that packs extraordinary literary punch.  To use Max Porter’s own words it, “…eats sorrow, unbirths secrets and has theatrical battles with language and God.” The shadow of Ted Hughes hangs over it and his Crow avatar is re-imagined in this account of a young father’s attempt to come to terms with the death of his partner and the effect it has on his own life and that of his sons.  It is a meditation on bereavement that is both abstract and personified, physically experienced yet also metaphorical.  The narrative is short, staccato and highly charged.  As much about love as loss, the novella is a hybrid of poetry and prose, full of the tension of opposites – hope and despair, life and death, past and future, the real and the imagined.  It offers, “…a howling sorry which is yes which is thank you which is onwards.”