"In 1975, on the eve of May Day, secret police sealed off a zoo in a small Czechoslovakian town and ordered the destruction of the alrgest captive herd of giraffes in the world. edgad tells the story of the giraffes from the moment of their caputre in Africa to their deaths behind the Iron Curtain. We see them first through the eyes of Emil, a haemodynamicist (he studies blood flow in vertical creatures) who is chosen to accompany them from Hamburg into Czechoslovakia. There Amina, a sleepwalker, a factory girl, glimpses their arrival and goes each day to gaze up at them. She is with them at the end, blinding them with a torch, as Jiri, a sharpshooter, brings them down one by one. IRAFFE is a story about strangeness, about creatures that are alien. It is also a story about captivity, about Czechoslovakia, a middling totalitarian state in the middle of Europe that is itself asleep, under a spell, a nation of sleepwalkers."
"Giraffe is rich, difficult to describe...blade-sharp imagery...Giraffe is important as a work of art. It will probably change your life and if it does it will be for the better" -- Todd McEwan * Scottish Review of Books *
"Giraffe is a work of obvious passion and great skill" -- Alex Gibbons * New Statesman *
"An outstanding debut, sparking with ideas and poetic qualities" -- Sam Phipps * Saturday Herald *
"[P]oetic, multilayered prose...the strangeness of the giraffes' short-lived "migration'' to Czechoslovakia, Ledgard has found an effective symbol for what he calls "the brief communist moment''" -- Elena Seymenliyska * Daily Telegraph *
"There's plenty to like in Legard's novel: not least the wondrous, and gentle, giraffes" -- James Flint * Guardian *