2011 Man Booker Prize: Pigeon English

Pigeon English

Me and the dead boy were only half friends, I didn’t see him very much because he was older and he didn’t go to my school. He could ride his bike with no hands and you never even wanted him to fall off. I said a prayer for him inside my head. It just said sorry. That’s all I could remember. I pretended like if I kept looking hard enough I could make the blood move and go back in the shape of a boy. I could bring him back alive that way. It happened before, where I used to live there was a chief who brought his son back like that. It was a long time ago, before I was born. Asweh, it was a miracle. It didn’t work this time.

You’ll love this naive, smart but oblivious, everything seen from an eleven-year-old boy’s eyes, stream-of-consciousness ramble about everything; ranging from CSI-inspired amateur detectivery, knifing and mugging people, Chelsea FC, stupid annoying girls, Spiderman, farting, Diadora sneaker, chlamydia, girlfight, to Samsung Galaxy, interspersed with his other-worldly wise and poetic PIGEON short narrations! How cool is that?
But fresh from The Help‘s controversy, we may still want to ask that one similar question: How much white writers possibly know about black people’s true feelings and dreams? Is this really a realistic, as claimed: accurate, story?
In this case, you might never know for sure. Especially, if you’re not an African immigrant living in London. Should you believe Kelman? Well, it’s fiction. You are free to write and believe anything you want.

>>>Check out my other review on 2011 Man Booker Prize Shortlist books:
Jamrach’s Menagerie


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