One shiny jet-black eye as big as my face, blinking slowly, in a leathery wrinkled socket...
And this is what he said:
I won’t leave until you don’t need me any more.
In the midst of grief he comes. He comes with a crackling of feathers and a smell of decay. He comes like the worst thing you could ever imagine, like something you should never have to imagine, he comes when you need him. He is a reminder, a companion, a harbinger, a scruffy homeless layabout, a friend. He is Crow.
In a London flat, two young boys face the unbearable sadness of their mother's sudden death. Their father, a Ted Hughes scholar and scruffy romantic, imagines a future of well-meaning visitors and emptiness. In this moment of despair they are visited by Crow - antagonist, trickster, healer, babysitter.
This sentimental bird is drawn to the grieving family becoming the mouthpiece for their sorrow, an echo of what cannot be said. Slowly, as the months pass, they become familiar with Crow and his odd companionship and almost imperceptibly, they begin to heal.
This extraordinary debut, partly based on Ted Hughes' Crow collection, is a deft feat of linguistic playfulness and daring, full of unexpected humour and emotional truth. It marks the arrival of a thrilling and significant new literary talent.
Publisher: Faber & Faber