Pigeon English

by Stephen Kelman

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Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2011.

 

Shortlisted for the Galaxy New Writer of the Year Award 2011.

 

Shortlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2011.

 

Shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award 2011.

A story of innocence and experience, hope and harsh reality, Pigeon English is a spellbinding portrayal of a boy balancing on the edge of manhood and of the forces around him that try to shape the way he falls.  It's also deeply funny, moving, idiosyncratic and unforgettable and introduces a major new literary talent.

 

The Guardian First Book Award longlist 2011
The Possessed by Elif Batuman
Sideral by Rachael Boast
The Book of Lies by Mary Horlock
Chavs by Owen Jones
Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee
Down the Rabbit Hole by Juan Pablo Villalobos
The Collaborator by Mirza Waheed
The Submission by Amy Waldman

Pigeon English Synopsis

Newly arrived from Ghana with his mother and older sister, eleven-year-old Harrison Opoku lives on the ninth floor of a block of flats on an inner-city housing estate. The second best runner in the whole of Year 7, Harri races through his new life in his personalised trainers - the Adidas stripes drawn on with marker pen - blissfully unaware of the very real threat all around him. With equal fascination for the local gang - the Dell Farm Crew - and the pigeon who visits his balcony, Harri absorbs the many strange elements of his new life in England: watching, listening, and learning the tricks of urban survival. But when a boy is knifed to death on the high street and a police appeal for witnesses draws only silence, Harri decides to start a murder investigation of his own. In doing so, he unwittingly endangers the fragile web his mother has spun around her family to try and keep them safe.

Win a signed copy of The Ghost Tree

Win a signed copy of The Ghost Tree

Closing date: 07/09/2018

Barbara Erskine's fabulous new book The Ghost Tree is out on the 23rd August. In order to celebrate we are giving away a SIGNED copy of the new book to THREE lucky winners!! The competiton closes on the 7th Septmber 2018. The winner will be informed by the 17th September 2018. The past is about to become the present... The inspiration for The Ghost Tree lies in Barbara Erskine's own personal history - branching back to the days of Thomas Erskine, her great grandfather, five times removed. Once again, the Sunday Times bestselling author brings the past to life in vivid, spellbinding colour. 

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Pigeon English Press Reviews

'Simultaneously accurate and fantastical, this boy's love letter to the world made me laugh and tremble all the way through. Pigeon English is a triumph'
Emma Donoghue, author of Room

'A powerful and impressive novel ... Kelman knows the world of boys - their language, their humour, their thoughts - and Harri's voice is dazzlingly authentic. Utterly convincing and deeply moving, this is a book that we should all read'
Clare Morrall, author of The Man Who Disappeared

'Pigeon English is a book to fall in love with: a funny book, a true book, a shattering book ... If you loved Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time or Emma Donoghue's Man Booker-shortlisted Room, you'll love this book too'
Erica Wagner, The Times

'One of the hardest things in fiction is to write from a child's point of view - Kelman does it brilliantly'
Alex Clark, Guardian

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781408810637
Publication date: 07/03/2011
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781408810637
Publication date: 7th March 2011
Author: Stephen Kelman
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Format: Paperback
Genres: Debuts of the Month, eBook Favourites, Literary Fiction,
Categories:

About Stephen Kelman

Stephen Kelman was born in Luton in 1976. After finishing his degree he worked variously as a warehouse operative, a careworker, and in marketing and local government administration. He decided to pursue his writing seriously in 2005, and has completed several feature screenplays since then. Pigeon English is his first novel.   Author photo © Jonathan Ring

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