A brief but extraordinarily powerful novel by the author of Dreams of My Russian Summers and Requiem for a Lost Empire, Music of a Life is set in the period just before, and two decades after, World War II.
AlexeÃ¯ Berg's father is a well-known dramatist, his mother a famous opera singer. But during Stalin's reign of terror in the 1930s they, like millions of other Russians, come under attack for their presumed lack of political purity. Harassed and proscribed, they have nonetheless, on the eve of Hitler's war, not yet been arrested. And young AlexeÃ¯ himself, a budding classical pianist, has been allowed to continue his musical studies. His first solo concert is scheduled for May 24, 1941. Two days before the concert, on his way home from his final rehearsal, he sees his parents being arrested, taken from their Moscow apartment. Knowing his own arrest will not be far behind, AlexeÃ¯ flees to the country house of his fiancee, where again betrayal awaits him. He flees, one step ahead of the dreaded secret police until, taking on the identity of a dead soldier, he enlists in the Soviet army. Thus begins his seemingly endless journey, through war and peace, until he lands, two decades later, in a snowbound train station in the Urals, where he relates his harrowing saga to the novel's narrator. An international bestseller, Music of a Life is, in the words of Le Monde, "extremely powerful . . . a gem."
Ama is an enslaved African woman. In Brazil, old and ill, she is determined that the story of her life shall survive for future generations. Her story is one of violence and heartache, but also of courage, hope, determination, and ultimately, love. Since Ama is blind, she has to dictate to her long separated only son, Kwame Zumbi. Kwame - named Zacharias Williams by the white Christians who have raised him - considers her an ugly old pagan and has little interest in doing more than is necessary to fulfill his obligation to her. But the acts of hearing and writing down the details of his mother's story change him forever.
This novel is a sequel to Manu Herbstein's novel, Ama, a Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade, winner to the 2002 Commonwealth Writers Prize for the Best First Book.
An incredible story. Millions of Africans were kidnapped and sold into slavery across the Atlantic Ocean. For the descendants of those people, the repercussions are still reverberating today. The distant drum is still heard. This is a beautifully written, thought-provoking book about age-old questions involving man's inhumanity to man. Betty Kowall in The Waterloo Region Record.
A powerful tale. Readers will be moved as much by Ama's intelligence and unwavering sense of self respect as by her hideous experiences. KIRKUS Review
Our specialist times have left little room for the age-old view that, however transfigured, the issues of art and life belong together, or that, for all their differences, the arts have shared concerns: yet realism demands just such an outlook. Towards a Poetics of Music and the Arts is an informal attempt to re-open the closed borders by an established writer on music, Christopher Wintle. Through a host of aphorisms and thoughts it first probes people, politics, learning and the Gods. It then sketches out a Poetics in terms of style and idea, artists, listeners and critics, theory, performers, ethics, opera, sculpture, cinema, and art and sport, before ending with a pair of Urban Fables (after Leonardo da Vinci). The volume includes a collection of Works with Music by the well-known Brazilian artist Ana Maria Pacheco.
On 11th September 2006 - exactly five years after the attacks on the Twin Towers - a modern day Rorke's Drift was played out in the town of Garmsir, known as the Taliban gateway to Helmand Province. 40-year-old Capt.
I grew up on the tales I heard around my Grandma Frank's kitchen, of life in Kentucky, as told by my mother, Nora, Aunt Lucille, Aunt Annie, Cousin Etta and Grandma. They told ghost stories about Indian princesses and big stallions, funny stories about the big ol' sway back white horse, Dollar. Scary stories, told by the kids as they walked to school, about the wolves following them on the edge of the woods. They fed them biscuits from their shortening can lunch buckets, thinking they were dogs. Stories of fireballs racing through the house at night. Little people, romance, magic, herbs, medicine men and women, witches and Indian kidnappings. I didn't want these stories to be forgotten so I wrote 'The Cumberland Witch' for my grandchildren. But there were so many stories that I couldn't fit into the novel that I began a sequel, 'Cumberland Music'. I named the heroine Music for the 105-year-od midwife that delivered my father in 1912, one week after the Titanic sank.
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