Birds Art Life Death by Kyo Maclear

Browser review

Sat, May 6, 2017, 00:00

   
 

Book Title:
Birds Art Life Death: A Field Guide to the Small and Significant

ISBN-13:
978-0-00-820928-5

Author:
Kyo Maclear

Publisher:
Fourth Estate

Guideline Price:
£12.99

Narrow in its focus but broad in its scope, Birds Art Life Death is magical. Kyo Maclear recounts a difficult year transformed by the patience and stillness brought by a new and peculiar hobby: urban birdwatching. Far from the mindfulness-madding crowd of self-assured and self-indulgent hipsters, Maclear is winningly uncertain as she works to apply this new approach to reclaiming her writing life from the shock of her father’s illness. These are the skills of those who seek out snippets of beauty in unlikely places: learning to wait, to roam idly and to understand regrets. The idea of appreciating the small things in life is of course as old as life itself, but this is a first-hand account of how to survive real life as a creative person. It’s a quiet narrative, honest and whimsical. Interspersed with ink drawings, quotes, photographs and anecdotes, the total effect is spellbinding, even on the most trenchant of cynics. Maclear has much to teach, but all she wants to do is tell a story, which she does with dignity and grace.