Corvus | Granta

  • Published: 01/03/2018
  • ISBN: 9781783784486
  • 129x20mm
  • 352 pages


Esther Woolfson

One spring, many years ago, Esther Woolfson’s daughter rescued a fledgling rook. That rook, named Chicken, quickly established herself as part of the family, and other birds, including an irascible cockatiel and a depressive parrot, soon followed. But it was the corvids – members of the crow family – who amazed Woolfson with their personality and their capacity for affection. This classic blend of memoir and natural history combines the author’s fascination with all things avian, from the mechanics of flight to the science of birdsong, with her funny, tender stories of life among the birds.

Like all the best accounts of a life shared with animals (Gerald Durrell comes inevitably to mind), Corvus offers much in the way of domestic comedy ... Exquisitely written ... Gallopingly readable


A number of qualities make this unlikely book such a triumph. The first is the author's character, as revealed in the tone of her narrative voice. Then there is the deceptive simplicity of Woolfson's best writing. Finally though, it is her ever-present sense of fresh wonder which carries us lightly to the very last page

Irish Times

Funny, touching and beautifully written - a fascinating insight into the closeness human beings can achieve with wild creatures

Sunday Times

The Author

Esther Woolfson grew up in Glasgow and studied Chinese at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Edinburgh University. Her acclaimed short stories have appeared in many anthologies and have been read on Radio 4. She is the author of Corvus: A Life with Birds, published by Granta Books. She has won prizes for both her stories and her nature writing. She has been the recipient of a Scottish Arts Council Travel Grant and a Writer’s Bursary. Her latest book, Field Notes from a Hidden City (Granta Books), was shortlisted for the 2014 Thwaites Wainwright Prize for Nature and Travel Writing. She lives in Aberdeen.

More about the author →

From the Same Author

Esther Woolfson on

Essays & Memoir | Granta 151

Between Light and Storm

Esther Woolfson

‘We’ve always been entwined in life and in death with other creatures, although often too much time has elapsed to be able to interpret with any certainty what some of these symbols and artefacts mean.’

Essays & Memoir | Granta 142


Esther Woolfson

‘His life was one of calculation and endeavour, of learning and watching, remembering and trying.’