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Max Porter

UK flag (b.1981)

Max Porter trained as an art historian but his career took him in to the world of books. He previously managed an independent bookshop and won the Young Bookseller of the Year award in 2009. Max joined Granta and Portobello Books in 2012 as Commissioning Editor and after working with authors such as Man Booker prize-winner Eleanor Catton and Masha Gessen, he has now written his own book.

Grief is the Thing with Feathers is a story of a father and two young boys in the weeks following the death of their mother. In this moment of despair they are visited by Crow - antagonist, trickster, healer, babysitter. This self-described sentimental bird is attracted to the grieving family and threatens to stay until they no longer need him. As weeks turn to months and physical pain of loss gives way to memories, this little unit of three begin to heal.

Part novella and part essay on grief, Grief is the Thing with Feathers is sensitive and affecting and offers light relief with unexpected humour.

Awards: Dylan Thomas (2016), Goldsmiths (2015)  see all

Genres: Literary Fiction, Horror
   Grief Is the Thing with Feathers (2015)
   Lanny (2019)
   Shy (2023)
   Eight Ghosts (2017) (with others)
Non fiction show
Books containing stories by Max Porter
Best British Short Stories 2022 (2022)
(Best British Short Stories)
edited by
Nicholas Royle

2016 Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award : Grief Is the Thing with Feathers
2016 Dylan Thomas Prize : Grief Is the Thing with Feathers
2015 Goldsmiths Prize : Grief Is the Thing with Feathers

Award nominations
2020 ALA Notable Books for Adults (nominee) : Lanny
2019 Booker Prize (longlist) : Lanny
2017 ALA Notable Books for Adults (nominee) : Grief Is the Thing with Feathers
2015 Guardian First Book Award (nominee) : Grief Is the Thing with Feathers

Max Porter recommends
The Ministry of Time (2024)
Kaliane Bradley
"Holy smokes, this novel is an absolute cut above! Kaliane Bradley leaps into a storytelling league of her own. This book is deadly serious speculative fiction, but it is also one of the funniest books I've read in years. It's exciting, surprising, intellectually provocative, weird, radical, tender, and moving. I missed it when I was away from it. I will hurry to re-read it. Make room on your bookshelves for a new classic."
Pity (2024)
Andrew McMillan
"Pity pays a great poet's tough but tender attention to the unspoken layers and historic fissures which lie beneath the wounded town of the self. This beautiful book about the marks that are left on people and places in turn leaves a deep empathic mark on the reader."
Orbital (2023)
Samantha Harvey
"This is such a beautiful book you have to adjust your readerly heart to take it all in. The plot is simply and extraordinarily our planet, watched by a handful of souls. Orbital wonders what it's like to be a human 'with a godly view' and because Samantha Harvey is such a spectacular prose stylist the wondering takes the form of breathtaking colour storms and brilliant encircling epiphanies of time and scale, technology and love, ambition and faith. It is an awe-inspiring and humbling love letter to Earth and those who reckon with the gift of it."

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