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The world will always be beautiful to those who look for beauty.

— The Comfort of Crows
by Margaret Renkl

The Comfort of Crows

From the author of Late Migrations comes a luminous book tracing the passing of seasons, personal and natural.

In The Comfort of Crows, New York Times opinion writer and 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—what develops is a portrait of joy and grief. Joy at the ongoing pleasures of the natural world: “Until the very last cricket falls silent, the beauty-besotted will always find a reason to love the world.” And grief at a shifting climate, at winters that end too soon, at songbirds growing 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 every passing day. How can one person make a difference amid such destabilizing changes?

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

Interested in reading The Comfort of Crows with your book club? Download the book club kit for recipes, discussion questions, and more.

The Comfort of Crows is a finalist for the Southern Book Prize! Readers choose the winner of this prize. If you’d like to see the other finalists and choose your own favorite, click here.

Preorder signed and personalized copies of The Comfort of Crows from Parnassus Books!


Or order unsigned copies anywhere you like to buy books.

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The Comfort of Crows is a howling love letter to the world, the story of what we’ve lost and what we can save and the abundance of wonder in our own backyard. Margaret Renkl is a singular, spectacular writer, and this book, like life itself, is a cause for celebration.”

―Ann Patchett, author of The Dutch House

“This triumph of a book gives us a charming and wise friend to guide us over the course of a year, but I am certain Margaret Renkl’s enchanting voice will echo for lifetimes to come. The Comfort of Crows is an instant classic, not just for the planet, but—and most importantly—for our hearts too.”

―Aimee Nezhukumatathil, author of World of Wonders

“Margaret Renkl has the mind of a naturalist and the soul of a poet. Let this magnificent devotional be your eye-opening, heart-expanding daily companion, and it will change how you see the world.”

―Mary Laura Philpott, author of Bomb Shelter

“Reading Margaret Renkl always connects me more deeply to the natural world and to my own heart. The Comfort of Crows is an elegy, a provocation, and above all a love letter to the magnificence that still surrounds us, if only we are awake enough to look. I want to press it into the hands of everyone I know.”

—Dani Shapiro, author of Inheritance

“This is a lovely prayer book centered on plants and animals, an important reminder of grace and of the necessity of placing public green spaces in reach of everyone.”

Catherine Raven, author of Fox & I

Learn More about The Comfort of Crows


Margaret Renkl is the author of The Comfort of Crows: A Backyard Year, which will be published on October 24, 2023. Her earlier books are Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss and Graceland, At Last: Notes on Hope and Heartache From the American South. She is a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, where her essays appear weekly. The founding editor of Chapter 16, a daily literary publication of Humanities Tennessee, and a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Carolina, she lives in Nashville.


Check in with Margaret on Facebook,  Instagram, and Threads.

Margaret’s Team

Publicity, Spiegel & Grau
Nicole Dewey

Literary Agent, ICM Partners
Kristyn Keene Benton

Speaking Agent, Authors Unbound
Christie Hinrichs
View my speaker profile here.

Downloadable Media Materials

High-res book jacket for Late Migrations

High-res book jacket for Graceland, At Last

High-res book jacket for Graceland, At Last (paperback)

High-res book jack for The Comfort of Crows

High-res author photo for Margaret Renkl
credit William DeShazer


Mailing address

Margaret Renkl
P.O. Box 59264
Nashville, TN 37205