Winner of the International Dylan Thomas Prize 2016 

Winner of the Sunday Times / Peters Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award 2016

Winner of the Books Are My Bag Readers Awards 2016 

Winner, with translator Saskia van der Lingen, of the Europese Literaruurprijs 2017

Shortlisted for The British Book Industry Awards 2016, Debut Fiction Book of the Year 

Shortlisted for The Goldsmiths Prize 2015 

Shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award 2015 

Shortlisted for the NBCC John Leonard First Book Prize 2016

Shortlisted for the Grand Prix des Lectrices ELLE 2016


Lanny longlisted for the Wainwright Prize for nature writing, 2019.

Lanny shortlisted for the Gordon Burn prize, 2019.

Lanny longlisted for the Booker Prize, 2019.

Lanny shortlisted for the BAMB Reader’s Awards, 2019.

Lanny on fiction shortlist for Foyles book of the year 2019

Lanny on the Waterstones Books of the Year shortlist 2019

Lanny longlisted for Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence: 2020


‘Amazing and unforgettable.’ The Times

‘Dazzlingly good.’ Robert MacFarlane

‘I picked up Grief Is The Thing With Feathers in my local bookshop, and thought, Really? A prose-poem novel about grief and Ted Hughes? Isn't it going to be precious and pretentious? Anyway: I think it's brilliant. The opposite of precious, it reads as though this were the only way it could have been done. It's solid, muscular, moving, funny and clever. I can't wait to see what Max Porter does next. And by the way, it takes about an hour to get through. I will read it again soon.’ Nick Hornby 

‘A luminous reading experience.’ TLS

‘Utterly astonishing. Truly, truly remarkable.’ Nathan Filer

‘Compact and splendid.’ Adam Mars-Jones, London Review of Books

‘Heartrending, blackly funny, deeply resonant.’ Guardian

‘Porter has an excellent ear for the flexibility of language and tone, juxtaposing colloquialisms against poetic images and metaphors. The result is a book that has the living, breathing quality of the title's 'thing with feathers.'. . . One of the things this luminous novel insists upon is that loss endures, even as grief departs. Our recoveries are always partial, and this sense of having been splintered is what finally defines us.’ New York Times 

‘I’m not sure I’ve read anything like Max Porter’s book before. It stunned me, full of beauty, hilarity, and thick black darkness. It will stay with me for a very long time.’ Evie Wyld

‘Unlike anything I’ve read before; part memoir, part novel, part experimental sound-poem, the book is a physical, living thing that shifts between humour and sadness with a deft beat of its wing.’ Andrew McMillan

‘Heartrending, blackly funny, deeply resonant, a perfect summation of what it means to lose someone but still to love the world – and if it reminds publishers that the best books aren’t always the ones that can be pigeonholed or precis-ed or neatly packaged, so much the better.’ Sarah Crown, Guardian

Grief Is the Thing with Feathers argues that books, literature and poetry can help save us. This book is a sublime and painful conjuring of a family’s grief and the misfit creature with the power to both haunt and help them. It is a complex story, not simply-told or sparse: Nothing is missing. Let it be a call for more great books of this length to be recognized for what they are — whole. Extraordinary is a book with feathers.’ Los Angeles Times

‘An intense and startling reflection on sudden bereavement, dark animism, childhood and literary form.’ Brian Dillon

‘orter’s poetic prose has infinite readings, and demands you turn back to the beginning after each short sitting.’ Big Issue

‘Shows us another way of thinking about the novel and its capabilities, taking us through a dark and emotionally fraught subject, one airy page after another, as through transported by wings.’ Kirsty Gunn, Guardian

“Max Porter has written one of the only accurate representations of grief I have ever found in literature. He combines verse, narrative, essay, myth, drama, jokes, bad dreams, and the language of therapy in a way that seems magical, permanent, utterly integrated, as impossible to distill to its components as it would be impossible to remove or isolate grief from love, or from life itself. Says Crow of grief, ‘It is everything. It is the fabric of selfhood.’ Sarah Manguso

‘In this slyly funny and thrillingly original work, Max Porter somehow pulls a brand new story out of the darkest despair.’ Jenny Offill

‘Less a novel than a totally new and feathered thing—hilarious, poetic, cheeky, postmodern, I guess, but in the most earnest and emotionally forthright way. I was as gripped as I was stunned by Porter’s linguistic daredevilry, his intelligence, his emotional go-for-the-gut-ness. I loved this book.’ Heidi Julavits

 ‘Grief is the Thing with Feathers . . . is a book to cherish. It has the perfect balance of being very sad and very funny, full of darkness and full of light.’ Cecelia Ahern

 ‘A small masterpiece.’ Listener

‘I loved Max Porter’s Grief is the Thing with Feathers . . . Part prose, part poetry, the book is a lyrical exploration of grief and healing; exquisite passages of brilliance and beauty abound throughout.’ Thomas Morris

‘It seems appropriate that the publishing firm for which T.S. Eliot once worked and wrote should put out this extraordinary book, haunted as it is by two poets. This book is partly poetry, partly drama, partly fable, and partly essay on grief. With its verbal inventiveness, vivid imagery and profound but never swamping emotion, this is as wild and gripping and original a book as Wuthering Heights.’ Sydney Morning Herald

‘Art—in Porter’s witty, sensitive, outlandish expression of it—does not so much transport us to another world as alert us to the extraordinary beauty of our own.’ Music and Literature

And here's Jesse Ball