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9780684831541

Accordion Crimes

Proulx, Annie

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9780684831541: Accordion Crimes

E. Annie Proulx's Accordion Crimes is a masterpiece of storytelling that spans a century and a continent. Proulx brings the immigrant experience in America to life through the eyes of the descendants of Mexicans, Poles, Africans, Irish-Scots, Franco-Canadians and many others, all linked by their successive ownership of a simple green accordion. The music they make is their last link with the past -- voice for their fantasies, sorrows and exuberance. Proulx's prodigious knowledge, unforgettable characters and radiant language make Accordion Crimes a stunning novel, exhilarating in its scope and originality.

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Review:

Proulx found fertile, if rocky, soil for her first two novels ( Postcards and The Shipping News) in the far northeastern corner of North America. In Accordion Crimes she ranges much further afield. The novel follows an accordion from the hands of its maker in Sicily in 1890 until it is flattened by a truck in Florida in 1996. In the intervening century it passes through the hands of a host of unlucky owners and their kin: Abelardo Relampago, who dies from the bite of a poisonous spider; Dolor Gagnon, decapitated by his own chain saw; Silvano, cut down in the jungles of Venezuela by an Indian's arrow.

From the Publisher:

Accordion Crimes traces the long odyssey of a button accordion, an instrument made by a Sicilian who immigrates to New Orleans in 1891. Imprisoned in a round-up of Italian suspects after the political murder of the chief of police, the accordion maker is lynched, and his accordion falls into the hands of Apollo, a black steamboat screwman. The instrument begins its long, erratic voyage through 20th-century America, passing through the hands of the descendants of slaves, immigrants and their children, some of whom learn that the cost of becoming American is to surrender the private definition of self.

Accordion Crimes is alive with vividly drawn characters who sometimes meet violent, strange ends, and who, at other times, succeed in a hard world. Filled with indelible images, Proulx's latest novel is charged with sardonic wit and is, at different turns, darkly hilarious and heartbreakingly sad. What we see as the accordion weakens and disintegrates is a haunting and ominous sense of what is America.

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Book Description SIMON SCHUSTER, United States, 1997. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprinted edition. 201 x 132 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. Rarely has a literary novel so captured the hearts and minds of readers across America and the world as E. Annie Proulx s The Shipping News, winner of the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. Now we have Proulx s new novel, Accordion Crimes, a masterpiece of storytelling that spans a century and a continent. Accordion Crimes opens in 1890 in Sicily as an accordion maker completes his finest instrument and dreams of owning a music store in America. He and his eleven-year-old son, carrying little more than the accordion, voyage to the teeming, violent port of New Orleans. Within a year, the accordion maker is murdered by an anti-Italian lynching mob, but his instrument carries Proulx s story as it falls into the hands of various immigrants who carry it from Iowa to Texas, from Maine to Louisiana, looking for a decent life. The music is their last link with the past -- voice for their fantasies, sorrows and exuberance -- but it, too, is forced to change. Proulx s prodigious knowledge, heartbreaking characters and daring storytelling unite the sections of Accordion Crimes -- a stunning novel, exhilarating in its scope and originality. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780684831541

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