I was twelve years old when what I'm about to tell you took place. Today, sixteen years later, I still recall the pounding of my heart as I heard the approaching footsteps of the bully of Heidelberg University. Above me on the bed sat Heinrich Rosenthal, a little man, seventy years old, with a big white mane of hair, but under the bed I was very much alone, and I remember thinking in those moments of suspense, Mom's right, maybe I should go out and make friends my own age instead of always hanging around by myself or with weird people like Mr Rosenthal. So begins an intriguing tale of friendship between an extraordinarily beguiling boy and an old man with a past - a history that shapes the plot of "Duel" and cleverly unfurls in the way real stories do between friends. David and Mr Rosenthal are generations apart in age but equally brave, equally stubborn and each as unique for their years as the other.
David Grossman was born in Jerusalem in 1954. He is the author of four adult novels including the acclaimed Zigzag Kid, also published by Bloomsbury and winner of both the Premio Grinzane and the Premio Mondelo in Italy. He has been published in twenty two languages and has won numerous international awards.