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Quill of the Dove
Quill of the Dove is a blend of literary fiction and a political thriller. Framed by contemporary events in the Middle East, the novel covers two distinct time periods: 2007 mainly in Europe, the Palestinian Territories and Israel and Lebanon from 1975 to 1982.
The opening chapter takes place in Nicosia, the divided capital of Cyprus. French journalist Marc.Taragon is at the apex of his career, and Nicosia is his home base for covering the Middle East. A tenacious idealist, Taragon has spent the last thirty years attempting to bring to readers the truths about the wars and political intrigues of the region. He is unsparing in his criticism of extremists and has earned many enemies.
Taragon agrees to be interviewed by a young Canadian journalist, Marie Boivin, not knowing that Marie has a hidden agenda: to discover through Taragon the truth about her childhood.
Before Marie finds the answers she seeks, she is enmeshed in Taragon's plan to broker peace negotiations between Jonathan Bronstein, a left-wing Israeli politician, and Abdullah Akkawi, a dissident Palestinian leader. In the isolated Greek village of Arkassa on the island of Karpathos,Taragon succeeds in persuading Akkawi and Bronstein to agree to an ambitious peace plan. The action then moves quickly through Europe and the Middle East as Taragon and his associates try to stay one step ahead of deadly opponents of their initiative.
Spanish rights have been sold to Dokusou Ediciones, German rights to LiteraturWissenschaft, French rights to Éditions David and audiobook rights have been sold to Snowdog Professional Services (Audiobook Division). Rights for other languages, theatre and graphic novel adaptation are still available. We are particularly interested in the sale of translation rights for Italian and Portuguese. An Italian translation of the novel has been started.
Contact Anna van Valkenburg at Guernica Editions.
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UK & IRELAND
"The historical context is thoroughly researched and it is clear that Shaw, a seasoned diplomat, is able to draw on his extensive experience and knowledge of the region and its peoples. The reader cannot help but be mesmerized as she / he sees the characters in the novel reach toward this peace that might have been, and engage in battle with the in-grown political, religious and tribal forces that are the root cause of all the Middle Eastern instability to this day."
"Shaw writes with dexterity and skill to create a compelling historical fiction drama set against the backdrop of war. This might have been Ian Thomas Shaw's second novel, but he has already established himself as one of the greatest writers in contemporary fiction."
“Quill of the Dove approaches the history of Lebanon through the eyes of international journalists called upon to take huge personal risk to report the complicated facts. This is a terrific way for Shaw to tell his tale. Richly drawn characters, enhanced by his profound knowledge of the Middle East, ensure that we are along for the whole ride with men and women trying to make a difference, while trying just to stay alive. With journalists dying in disturbing numbers across the world, this novel may be providing the timeliest perspective of any on the Middle East.”
“Shaw’s intimate knowledge of Israel and the Palestinian Territories grounds the drama in this heart-stopping political thriller.”
"Quill of the Dove is a love story, a political manifesto and a voyage into the depths of war where life and death lie down together."
IAN THOMAS SHAW
I am a Canadian novelist, who writes both under the pen name Con Cú (owl in Vietnamese) and my own name of Ian Thomas Shaw. My pen name was derived from a nickname given to me by a Vietnamese friend, whose stories about Vietnam and coming as a child to Canada inspired my first novel, Soldier, Lily, Peace and Pearls. I was born in Vancouver, British Columbia. For the last 34 years, I worked first as an international development expert and then as a diplomat, living in Africa, the Middle East and Europe. I currently live in Aylmer, Quebec (just outside of Ottawa). My second novel, Quill of the Dove, is a blend of literary fiction and political thriller set against the Lebanese Civil War and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Quill of the Dove was published by Guernica Editions on April 1, 2019. In June 2019, it was optioned by Original Pictures for a TV limited series. Quill of the Dove was published in 2020 in Spanish (Ediciones Dokusou) and in 2021 in German (Verlag LiteraturWissenschaft). A French version of the novel, La colombe, will be published in October 2023 by Éditions David. Currently, I am contributing to and editing the Green to Grey Anthology, short fiction speaking to the environmental emerency (to be published by Guernica Editions in 2025).
I am also the founder and main editor for Deux Voiliers Publishing (27 books edited), and the founder of the Prose in the Park Literary Festival and the Ottawa Review of Books. I am a member in good standing of the Quebec Writers Federation.
Soldier, Lily, Peace and Pearls
On her last day, Dr. Han Thieu, a Vietnamese doctor in Montreal, reminisces about her life, her husband, daughters, adopted son Quan, and friend Mathieu Hibou. In an act of love, she has decided to spare them her descent into unbearable pain and eventual death. Each of her remaining moments is like the rustling of papaya leaves—a sound only audible to those who choose to listen. Each memory brings sorrow and joy. For in life, love is but the counterface of suffering. Then with her last gasp, the story begins. The dark pain of post-war Vietnam and Cambodia blends into the youthful resilience of Malaysia and Thailand, the discovery of Canada and then new tragedies in Africa and the Middle East. Soldier, Lily, Peace and Pearls is a story teller’s tale. With every page you turn, let the ink lament a land lost, the paper sigh for past love and the letters paint desire for life renewed.