Literary Agent

Dog Boy

by Eva Hornung


‘A wonderful, intense and profoundly moving book from a writer of rare gifts.’ —Geraldine Brooks

‘Extraordinary. Utterly compelling.’ —Yann Martel

Abandoned in a big city at the onset of winter, a hungry four-year-old boy follows a stray dog to her lair. There in the rich smelly darkness, in the rub of hair, claws and teeth, he joins four puppies suckling at their mother’s teats. And so begins Romochka’s life as a dog.

Weak and hairless, with his useless nose and blunt little teeth, Romochka is ashamed of what a poor dog he makes. But learning how to be something else…that’s a skill a human can master.

Fortunately – because one day Romochka will have to learn to be a boy.

The story of the child raised be beasts is timeless. But in Dog Boy Eva Hornung has created such a vivid and original telling, so viscerally convincing, that it becomes not just new but definitive: Yes, this is how it would be.

Taking us with Romochka into the world of his dog-family, she shows through his clear, alien eyes the disintegration—and obdurate persistence—of community, of family; the uncertain embrace of society, the consequences of social breakdown and exclusion. And in doing this she shows us our brutal, tender, frightened selves; exploring what our animal nature brings to our humanity.

  • Year of Publication: 2013
  • Genre: Literature
  • Audience: Adult