Synopses & Reviews
Anna is seven years old when the Nazis come for her linguistics professor father. In 1939 Poland many children are left orphaned or are taken to concentration camps but Anna finds refuge of a sort by traveling with a tall thin man who communicates with birds and speaks in metaphors. Anna and the Swallow Man speak in Polish German Russian Yiddish and French. Reader Corduner performs these lines with the lightest of accents flavoring the story and never overwhelming the listener. Corduner’s gentle tone of voice makes young Anna come alive without resorting to high pitched breathiness. His Swallow Man is mysterious but also comforting setting up great tension in the story. In his quiet yet firm manner the Swallow Man teaches Anna lessons of survival some of which challenge her instincts to be honest and compassionate. Corduner handles the story deftly simply letting Savit’s words do the work and never hamming it up in his performance. This book is more than simple historical fiction; it is almost a fable about how to live in hard times. Corduner’s performance is also more than simple narration—it is remarkable. Ages 12–up. A Knopf hardcover. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
A New York TimesBestseller
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
"Exquisite." The Wall Street Journal
"This is masterly storytelling." The New York Times Book Review
A stunning, beautiful, and ambitious debut novel set in Poland during the Second World War perfect for readers of All the Light We Cannot See and The Book Thief.
Krakow, 1939. A million marching soldiers and a thousand barking dogs. This is no place to grow up.Anna ania is just seven years old when the Germans take her father, a linguistics professor, during their purge of intellectuals in Poland. She s alone.
And then Anna meets the Swallow Man.He is a mystery, strange and tall, a skilled deceiver with more than a little magic up his sleeve. And when the soldiers in the streets look at him, they see what he wants them to see.
The Swallow Man is not Anna s father she knows that very well but she also knows that, like her father, he s in danger of being taken, and like her father, he has a gift for languages: Polish, Russian, German, Yiddish, even Bird. When he summons a bright, beautiful swallow down to his hand to stop her from crying, Anna is entranced. She follows him into the wilderness.
Over the course of their travels together, Anna and the Swallow Man will dodge bombs, tame soldiers, and even, despite their better judgment, make a friend. But in a world gone mad, everything can prove dangerous. Even the Swallow Man.
Destined to become a classic, Gavriel Savit s stunning debut reveals life s hardest lessons while celebrating its miraculous possibilities."