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The Boy Who Could Speak the Language of Dogs (L’Enfant qui savait parler la langue des chiens)



Original Language: French (Canada) | 244 pp. | Spring 2013

2 Seas Represents: Danish, Dutch, English (USA), Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish Rights.

English sample available!

Sold: World English (Europa Editions), Italy (Edizioni E/O), The Netherlands (Cargo), Poland (Znak), Turkey (Pena), Brazil (Bertrand), Spain (Catalan and Castilian, Blackie Books)

Depending on the publisher and the quality of the translation, translations from French-Canadian can be funded by the Société de développement des entreprises culturelles.


Begnini’s Life is Beautiful meets Boris Cyrulnik!

He is told that one day he will understand – after the war. After all, war is not for children. In the meantime, however, Julek must learn to live in secrecy. And he rather likes it, all things considered.

How can a 14-year-old boy have assumed so many identities? Lived with so many families without being found out? Worked as a secret agent for the Resistance? Raised in an orphanage when he has at least two mothers? Above all, where did he learn to speak the language of dogs, which has won him such admiration from his comrades?

Joanna Gruda depicts a truly unusual childhood that begins in Warsaw on the eve of war and ends in Paris after the liberation of the city. Through Julek’s eyes, we witness the darkest hours of the past century, recounted with extraordinary candour and verve. It’s a portrayal of war – inhuman but all too human – that makes you feel what it was like to be there.

The need to flee and hide, the delights of playing hooky, the horrors of Nazi occupation, passing love affairs (some happy, some sad), Allied bombardments, the joy of being reunited with loved ones believed dead, the bottomless despair in the eyes of concentration camp survivors – all of this is narrated without any sentimentality, making the tragic realities of these dark years even more palpable.

Above all, this captivating novel is the story of a child who never loses his sense of wonder before the twists and turns of fate. Driven by inextinguishable hope, he delivers an extraordinary lesson in survival.


Gruda_The-Boy-Who-could-Speak_Cover-NL   Gruda_Lenfant_cover-US

The Netherlands (Uitgeverij Cargo/De Bezige Bij), US & UK (Europa Editions)