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Spanning more than sixty years from the Civil War to the early 1920s, and moving from the battlefields of the South to New York City, through Paris, London, Constantinople, and Coney Island, The Notorious Dr. August features Augustus Fitzwilliam Boyd, alias Dr. August, an improvisational pianist who believes his music is sometimes inspired by the spirit world.
He is in love with Isaac Kemp, an ex-slave who only sporadically returns his affections and who himself successfully woos Alice Pangborn, a rather prim white governess. The three, locked in a strange and often painful love triangle, travel the world--until a horrible tragedy forces them all to examine the choices they have made and shakes up their relationships in ways none of them could have predicted.
Rich in historical detail and musical knowledge, The Notorious Dr. August is a brilliantly written exploration of race, class, spirituality, and sexuality -- and of what it really means to love another.