The Comfort of Crows: A Backyard Year
Date and Time:
Nov 14 2023 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Note: Event start time is Central Time (CT).


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Margaret Renkl

Award-winning bestselling author and a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times

Mary Laura Philpott

Bestselling author of "I Miss You When I Blink" and "Bomb Shelter"

The Comfort of Crows: A Backyard Year

Advice | Aging | Animals | Behavior | Belonging | Climate Change | Connection | Conservation | Culture | Empathy | Ethics | Family | Health | Joy | Love | Meditation | Mindfulness | Relationships | Storytelling | Transformation | Well Being | WIldlife

BONUS AFTER-HOURS EVENT: Attendees who purchase a copy of The Comfort of Crows from FAN’s partner bookseller The Book Stall are invited to attend an AFTER-HOURS event hosted by Renkl and Philpott that will start immediately after the webinar. Details on the webinar registration page.

In The Comfort of Crows: A Backyard Year, award-winning bestselling author Margaret Renkl presents a literary devotional: fifty-two chapters that follow the creatures and plants in her backyard over the course of a year. As we move through the seasons—from a crow spied on New Year’s Day, its resourcefulness and sense of community setting a theme for the year, to the lingering bluebirds of December, revisiting the nest box they used in spring—what develops is a portrait of joy and grief: joy in the ongoing pleasures of the natural world, and grief over winters that end too soon and songbirds that grow fewer and fewer.

Along the way, we also glimpse the changing rhythms of a human life. Grown children, unexpectedly home during the pandemic, prepare to depart once more. Birdsong and night-blooming flowers evoke generations past. The city and the country where Renkl raised her family transform a little more with each passing day. And the natural world, now in visible flux, requires every ounce of hope and commitment from the author—and from us. For, as Renkl writes, “radiant things are bursting forth in the darkest places, in the smallest nooks and deepest cracks of the hidden world.”

With fifty-two original color artworks by the author’s brother, Billy Renkl, The Comfort of Crows is a lovely and deeply moving book from a cherished observer of the natural world.

Renkl lives in Nashville and is a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, where her essays appear weekly. She will be in conversation with Mary Laura Philpott, the nationally bestselling author of I Miss You When I Blink and the memoir Bomb Shelter: Love, Time, and Other Explosives, which won the Southern Book Prize and was named a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice and one of NPR’s “Favorite Books of 2022.”

This event suitable for youth 12+. It will be recorded and available on FAN’s website and YouTube channel.