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A pigeon and a boy
Meir Shalev
Adult Fiction SHALEV

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In this stunning tale, Shalev masterfully interweaves two remarkable personal stories. Yair Mendelsohn, a middle-aged Israeli tour guide favored with bird watchers, learns that one of his new American clients fought in the Palmach, a clandestine military force in Israel's 1948 war of independence. The American recounts a day when a homing pigeon handler, nicknamed "the Baby" for his childlike features, was killed in that war and, in his final moments, sent off one last pigeon. Yair is familiar with the American's story and listens with wistfulness. As Yair slowly tells of his present and his past, Shalev patiently builds tension around the Baby's final dispatch, giving vivid detail on homing pigeons and conveying the unique relationship between the birds and their keepers-which echoes the touching care with which the Baby and his true love, "the Girl," treat one another. The dark, stocky Yair, whose marriage is threatened by his burgeoning relationship with childhood friend Tirzah, makes a sympathetic protagonist. This gem of a story about the power of love, which won Israel's Brenner Prize, brims with luminous originality. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Images of home in its many guises permeate Israeli novelist Shalev's latest work to be translated into English, following Blue Mountain, The Loves of Judith, and Esau. With the land of Israel in the background and frequently the foreground, the intertwined stories introduce two teenage handlers of messenger homing pigeons whose love blooms in the 1940s through the War of Independence and the battle for Jerusalem, as well as narrator Yair Mendelson, his unusual conception, his unhappy marriage, and his longing for a home of his own. Yair achieves his wish: he builds his new home with the help of his female contractor, with whom he falls in love. All the characters and their families are linked, homing pigeons make their nests, and the characters whose lives come together all have "homing" stories as well. Magical realism works beautifully in this powerfully suffused novel of love, loss, and the need for home. Highly recommended.-Molly Abramowitz, Silver Spring, MD (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Yair Mendelsohn
Age: Middle aged
Discovers one of his American clients fought in the Palmach, a military force; in a troubled marriage.
Tour guide

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