Crow Country
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Crow Country

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Description

One night Mark Cocker followed the roiling, deafening flock of rooks and jackdaws which regularly passed over his Norfolk home on their way to roost in the Yare valley. From the moment he watched the multitudes blossom as a mysterious dark flower above the night woods, these gloriously commonplace birds were unsheathed entirely from their ordinariness. They became for Cocker a fixation and a way of life. Cocker goes in search of them, journeying from the cavernous, deadened heartland of South England to the hills of Dumfriesshire, experiencing spectacular failures alongside magical successes and epiphanies. Step by step he uncovers the complexities of the birds' inner lives, the unforeseen richness hidden in the raucous crow song he calls 'our landscape made audible'. Crow Country is a prose poem in a long tradition of English pastoral writing. It is also a reminder that 'Crow Country' is not 'ours': it is a landscape which we cohabit with thousands of other species, and these richly complex fellowships cannot be valued too highly.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 130 x 194 x 16mm | 158.76g
  • Vintage Publishing
  • VINTAGE
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0099485087
  • 9780099485087
  • 92,875

About Mark Cocker

Mark Cocker is one of Britain's foremost writers on nature and contributes regularly to the Guardian and other publications. All of his seven books, including the universally acclaimed Birds Britannica, deal with modern responses to wilderness, whether found in landscape, human societies or in other species. His latest book, Crow Country, was short-listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize 2008 and won the New Angle Prize for Literature 2009. He is currently working with the photographer David Tipling on their joint magnum opus, Birds and People. He lives deep in the Norfolk countryside with his wife Mary Muir and their two daughters.

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Review quote

"Luminously beautiful and dartingly intelligent, Cocker's obsessive quest after the ancient trails of rooks across our dusk skies leads to an almost sacred space: a place where the landscape of the imagination and the lovingly, minutely observed realities of the natural world come to roost together" -- Richard Mabey "Guaranteed to ensure that you never look at a crow in quite the same way again" Guardian "Fabulous... Like all classic works of natural history, is is an extraordinary revelation of riches and wonders and that lie at our doorsteps, completely ignored" Independent "A splendid book...Crow Country's narrative of rookish discovery unfolds with splendid variety, incorporating scientific exposition, biography, environmental history, poetry, memoir and biography... Your heart beats faster as he describes a pack of tight-packed wigeon flushing in fear from an icy creak. You feel the shock of recognition as a barn owl meets his gaze. It's infectiously emotional. At it's most lyrical Crow Country matches the heights of that deeply eerie work of avian obsession JA Baker's The Peregrine; yet at its most scientific, it could sit alongside the best ornithological monographs... Crow Country is a significant, beautiful work" New Statesman "Exquisitely written, passionate exploration of the local and commonplace" BBC Wildlife

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