Pigeon English

Pigeon English

Written by: Kelman, Stephen

"Pigeon English is a triumph." -- Emma Donoghue, author of Room

Shortlisted for the 2011 Man Booker Prize and the 2011 Guardian First Book Award

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 in London, England. The second-best runner in his grade, Harri races through his new life in his personalized trainers -- the Adidas stripes drawn on with black marker -- blissfully unaware of the very real threat 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 that surround him: watching, listening, and learning the tricks of inner-city survival. But when a boy is knifed to death on the high street and a police appeal draws only silence, Harri decides to start a murder investigation of his own, unwittingly endangering the fragile web his mother has spun around her family to keep them safe.

A deeply funny, moving, and unforgettable 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.

"Pigeon English is a triumph." -- Emma Donoghue, author of Room

Shortlisted for the 2011 Man Booker Prize and the 2011 Guardian First Book Award

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 in London, England. The second-best runner in his grade, Harri races through his new life in his personalized trainers -- the Adidas stripes drawn on with black marker -- blissfully unaware of the very real threat 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 that surround him: watching, listening, and learning the tricks of inner-city survival. But when a boy is knifed to death on the high street and a police appeal draws only silence, Harri decides to start a murder investigation of his own, unwittingly endangering the fragile web his mother has spun around her family to keep them safe.

A deeply funny, moving, and unforgettable 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.

Published By House of Anansi Press Inc — Mar 12, 2011
Specifications 288 pages | 6 in x 9.25 in
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Short-listed, Man Booker Prize for Fiction, 2011

Short-listed, Guardian First Book Award, 2011

Commended, Toronto Star Reviewers' Top 100 Books, 2011

Long-listed, IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, 2013