Synopses & Reviews
David is a twelve-year-old boy living in Jerusalem in 1966. His best friend just happens to be seventy-year-old Heinrich Rosenthal, who lives at the Beit Hakerem Home for the Aged. Their friendship takes an unexpected turn when Mr. Rosenthal receives a threatening letter from the man he once knew as "the bully of Heidelberg University." The letter accuses Mr. Rosenthal of stealing a priceless painting and challenges him to a duel if it is not returned immediately. But Mr. Rosenthal didn't steal the painting. Who did? Determined to find some answers and prevent the duel, David plays detective and ultimately uncovers the story of two beautiful paintings, one of a woman's eyes and the other of her mouth, given by the artist to the two men who are now willing to kill one another over them. With some brilliant sleuthing and a bit of luck, David manages to pull together the strings of a story that began more than thirty years before, preventing a tragedy by bringing a long-dead memory to back to life.
"Entirely convincing . . . full of tension." -Philip Pullman
"A writer of passionate self-honesty, unafraid to ask terrible questions." -Nadine Gordimer
About the Author
has received several international awards for his writing, including the Premio Grinzane and the Premio Mondelo for The Zigzag Kid
. He is the author of seven novels, several children's books, and a play. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife and children.
In 2000, Besty Rosenberg received the Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation for translating Duel from the original Hebrew into English. In their review, the award committee said, "Duel is quirky, compassionate and beautifully edited . . . Grossman deals with values that are not often discussed today. In a lively natural translation, this original book is unforgettable."