Author(s): Eva Hornung
In a deserted Moscow apartment building four-year-old Romochka waits for Uncle to come home. Outside the snow is falling, but after a few days hunger drives Romochka outside, his mother's voice ringing in his ears: don't talk to strangers. Overlooked by passers-by, he follows a street dog to her lair in a deserted basement at the edge of the city. There he joins four puppies suckling at their mother's teats. And so begins Romochka's life as a dog. The story of the child raised by beasts has fascinated through the ages, but Eva Hornung has created a vivid and original telling, utterly emotionally convincing. 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.
Shortlisted for Prime Minister's Literary Awards (Australia): Fiction 2010.