I love stories of writers coming out of nowhere—and I mean nowhere—like the author of Pigeon English (HMH). Englishman Stephen Kelman worked jobs from house-cleaner to warehouse operative until he was inspired by news stories about British youth violence to write his debut.
Combining street inspiration with stories from his own childhood, Kelman crafted the tale of Hari Opuku, the narrator of Pigeon English, whose life changes when he and his friend Dean decide to solve a crime.
Our reviewer found the 11-year-old narrator compelling and believable, and this trailer from Bloomsbury gives a glimpse of his voice:
For more on the child narrator, check out our interview with Kelman.
Pigeon English is not only one of our favorite debuts of the season, but it’s also on the longlist for the 2011 Man Booker Prize. Who’s grabbing a copy of Kelman’s debut?