A Pigeon and a Boy by Meir Shalev
A Novel

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From the internationally acclaimed Israeli writer Meir Shalev comes a mesmerizing novel of two love stories, separated by half a century but connected by one enchanting act of devotion.

During the 1948 War of Independence--a time when pigeons are still used to deliver battlefield messages--a gifted young pigeon handler is mortally wounded. In the moments before his death, he dispatches one last pigeon. The bird is carrying his extraordinary gift to the girl he has loved since adolescence. Intertwined with this story is the contemporary tale of Yair Mendelsohn, who has his own legacy from the 1948 war. Yair is a tour guide specializing in bird-watching trips who, in middle age, falls in love again with a childhood girlfriend. His growing passion for her, along with a gift from his mother on her deathbed, becomes the key to a life he thought no longer possible. 

Unforgettable in both its particulars and its sweep, A Pigeon and A Boy is a tale of lovers then and now--of how deeply we love, of what home is, and why we, like pigeons trained to fly in one direction only, must eventually return to it.  In a voice that is at once playful, wise, and altogether beguiling, Meir Shalev tells a story as universal as war and as intimate as a winged declaration of love.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Meir Shalev

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One of Israel's most celebrated novelists, Meir Shalev was born in 1948 on Nahalal, Israel's first moshav. His books have been translated into more than twenty-five languages and have been best sellers in Israel, Holland, and Germany. Honors he has received include the National Jewish Book Award and the Brenner Prize, one of Israel's top literary awards, for A Pigeon and a Boy. A columnist for the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth, he lives in Jerusalem and in the north of Israel.
Published December 24, 2008 by Schocken. 321 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Young Adult, Literature & Fiction, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Religion & Spirituality, Law & Philosophy, Professional & Technical. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for A Pigeon and a Boy

Kirkus Reviews

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Yair, a tour guide in Jerusalem and occasional chauffeur for his wealthy wife’s clients, meets a veteran of the 1948 War of Independence who recalls the bloody death of a young, pudgy homing-pigeon trainer known to the troops only as “the Baby.” Baby’s last act is to dispatch a pigeon.

Oct 16 2007 | Read Full Review of A Pigeon and a Boy: A Novel

The New York Times

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“Which by laughter?” Thanks to Tirzah and his mother’s legacy, by the end of the novel Yair has discovered what he needs: “I built and was built, I loved and was loved, my soul grew a new skin, a roof, a floor, a wall.” Sarah Fay’s interview with Kenzaburo Oe will appear in the winter issue of Th...

Nov 25 2007 | Read Full Review of A Pigeon and a Boy: A Novel

Historical Novel Society

It is always a pleasure to read a good translation of well-regarded book by one of another country’s premier writers.

| Read Full Review of A Pigeon and a Boy: A Novel

Bookmarks Magazine

In two intertwined stories, one of Israel’s preeminent novelists explores the meaning of love and home in a war-torn nation.

Jan 31 2008 | Read Full Review of A Pigeon and a Boy: A Novel

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