Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Dog Boy

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Dog Boy

A Novel

by Eva Hornung

Dog Boy
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  • Published:
    Mar 2010, 304 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Elena Spagnolie

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Beyond the Book

Ivan Mishukov
I was fascinated to learn that Eva Hornung's novel Dog Boy was inspired by the real-life story of Ivan Mishukov, a four-year-old boy who decided to run away from his mother and her alcoholic boyfriend in 1996 in Moscow, and ended up living with a pack of wild dogs for approximately two years before he was rescued. In the book Savage Girls and Wild Boys: A History of Feral Children, author Michael Newton describes:

"Dogs are abandoned with mournful regularity, and quickly turn feral, rummaging through bins for scraps, running around the streets in packs in order to survive. Out on the streets, Ivan began to beg, but gave a portion of the food he cadged each time to one particular pack of dogs. The dogs grew to trust him; befriended him; and, finally, took him on as their pack leader."

It wasn't until 2004 that Hornung read an article about Mishukov but, as she recalls in a short essay about her experience writing Dog Boy, it "took me by storm… [I] ...

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