A Well-Tempered Heart: A Novel

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9781482951530: A Well-Tempered Heart: A Novel
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[Translated by Kevin Wiliarty]
[Read by Cassandra Campbell]

Almost ten years have passed since Julia Win came back from Burma, her father's native country. Though she is a successful Manhattan lawyer, her private life is at a crossroads. One day, in the middle of an important business meeting, she hears a voice in her head that causes her to leave the office without explanation. In the following days her crisis deepens as the voice starts to ask questions Julia has been trying to avoid. Interwoven with Julia's story is that of a Burmese woman who finds her world turned upside down when Burma goes to war and calls on her two young sons to be child soldiers.

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About the Author:

Jan-Philipp Sendker, born in Hamburg in 1960, was the American correspondent for Stern from 1990 to 1995 and its Asian correspondent from 1995 to 1999. In 2000 he published Cracks in the Great Wall, a nonfiction book about China. The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, his first novel, is an international bestseller. He lives in Berlin with his family.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

   “Can you also hear heartbeats?”
   “No.”
   “Too bad.” Thar Thar looked at me. “I once knew someone who could tune a heart.”
   “Tune a heart?” I asked, wondering if I had understood him correctly.
   “Yes, like an instrument. If a heart was out of tune, he would retune it.”
   “How can a heart be out of tune?” I asked.
   Thar Thar cocked his head to the side and smirked. “The daughter of a heart listener really ought to know that.”
   Was he making fun of me?
   “Alas, there are many ways. Have you never heard of irregular heartbeats, rapid heartbeats, premature heartbeats? If life has made you mean, or if disappointments have made you as bitter as a slice of tamarind, your heart beats too deeply. If you are afraid, it starts to flutter like a young bird. If you are sad, it beats so slowly that a person might expect it to stop completely any minute. If your spirit is overwhelmed by confusion, it beats most irregularly. Is it different in America?”
   “No. But when we have arrhythmia we go to a cardiologist.”
   “That’s a different matter. They are mechanics of the heart. They have nothing to do with tuning a heart.”
   “How does one tune a heart?” I asked quietly.
   Thar Thar cleared his throat, stuck the knife into the cutting board, and fell silent. He did not answer.
   “Does it require a special gift?”
   He looked past me. His lower lip began to quiver.
   “What does it take to be a heart tuner? Who can do it? A magician? An astrologer?”
   He shook his head. Without a word.

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9781846972850: A Well-Tempered Heart

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ISBN 10:  184697285X ISBN 13:  9781846972850
Publisher: Polygon An Imprint of Birlinn Li..., 2001
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