By Stephen Kelman
(Mariner Books, Paperback, 9780547737423, 288pp.)
Publication Date: June 19, 2012
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In this acclaimed debut, Stephen Kelman brings us a “hero for our times,”* a boy with an unforgettable voice and an ebullience that can’t help but fill your heart.
Recently emigrated from Ghana to one of London’s enormous housing projects, Harrison Opoku is awed by the city, obsessed with gummy candy, and a friend to everyone he meets. His story begins with the random knifing of one of his schoolmates. The police have no leads, so Harri and his best friend launch into action. Armed with camouflage binoculars and detective techniques absorbed from TV, they gather evidence and lay traps to find the murderer. In the great tradition of Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Pigeon English takes us deeply and fully into one boy’s life.
* Mail on Sunday (UK)
Stephen Kelman grew up in the housing projects of Luton, England. He has worked as a careworker, a warehouse operative, in marketing, and in local government administration. Pigeon English was shortlisted for the Desmond Elliot Prize and was named a “best first novel of 2011”* in his native England; it will be published in twenty countries.
"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"Rich with lingo, energy, and occasional terror, Pigeon English is a stark and funny look at life in London’s rough housing projects. A compelling anatomy of our inner cities, Stephen Kelman’s debut novel navigates the hectic, modern world while coping with its most violent accompaniments." —Tony D’Souza, author of Whiteman and the forthcoming Mule
"Utterly convincing and deeply moving, this is a book that we should all read if we want to understand the ugly world that we have somehow managed to create on the edges of society." —Clare Morrall, author of the Booker-shortlisted Astonishing Splashes of Colour and The Man Who Disappeared