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Grief Is the Thing with Feathers

Max Porter's <br><i>Grief Is the Thing with Feathers</i>

Max Porter's
Grief Is the Thing with Feathers

Review by Ben Eastham

“In the Beginning was Scream”—according to Ted Hughes’ “Lineage”—followed hard upon by Crow. To enter the inchoate world, the eponymous corvid hero of Hughes’ famous suite of poems must pass an “Examination at the Womb-Door,” where he is faced with a riddle: “Who is stronger than death?” “Me, evidently,” Crow replies, and passes into the realm of life to wreak havoc upon it: retching up heads in attempting to pronounce the word “love,” attacking the sun, inexpertly nailing God and Man together, et cetera. The same Crow introduces himself into Max Porter’s debut novel by ringing twice upon the doorbell...