Una Vida: A Fable of Music and the Mind

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9781589851122: Una Vida: A Fable of Music and the Mind
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In Dr. Nicolas Bazan s brilliant first novel, neuroscientist Alvaro Cruz finds himself haunted by a recurring dream of a banjo player in an elusive cornfield that leads him on a personal quest to uncover the mysterious past of a New Orleans street singer known as Una Vida. Stricken with Alzheimer s, Una Vida can only offer tantalizing clues about her past through her mesmerizing vocals, incredible recollection of jazz lyrics, and the occasional verbal revisiting of a fascinating life that s fading quickly and forever into the recess of her mind. As Cruz searches for Una Vida s true identity, he learns profound lessons about the human psyche, the nature of memory and himself.

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From the Inside Flap:

Neuroscientist Alvaro Cruz finds himself haunted by a recurring dream of a banjo player in an elusive cornfield, leading him on a personal quest to uncover the mysterious past of a New Orleans street singer known as Una Vida. Stricken with Alzheimer's, she can only offer tantalizing clues about her past through her mesmerizing vocals, incredible recollection of jazz lyrics, and the occasional verbal revisiting of a fascinating life that's fading quickly into the recess of her mind. As Cruz searches for Una Vida's true identity, he learns profound lessons about the human psyche, the nature of memory and himself.

About the Author:

Nicolas Bazan is a man driven by his life s many passions including a thirst for knowledge about the human mind and eyes, and a hunger for great food and fine music. Born in the tiny town of Los Sarmientos in Tucuman, Argentina, Nicolas Bazan s defining moment was witnessing an aunt suffer a seizure while walking him to a music lesson when he was a young boy, putting him on the path to becoming one of the world s premier neuroscientists. Applying himself eagerly to studying the causes behind seizures, stroke, blindness and other debilitating diseases of the brain and retina, he hopes his life s work leads to therapies that slow down and/or cure those diseases. Training at some of the most prestigious medical institutions including Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York and Harvard Medical School, Bazan took his first faculty appointment at age 26 at the University of Toronto, Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, where he immersed himself in the study of neurochemistry. In the 1970s, he established a research institute in Argentina during a time when his native land was awash in political turmoil. He and his wife eventually fled with their five children to the United States in 1981. Welcomed in New Orleans, Bazan was appointed faculty by the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, where he later established and now heads the Neuroscience Center of Excellence. The knowledge sought at the center epitomizes the pursuit of understanding present in Bazan s own heart, mind and soul. He continues to apply his passion, not only to the cause of science, but to the joys and vigor found in the city he now calls home. His fondness for New Orleans life and jazz is surpassed only by his love for family and friends. Devoting as much time as he can to all of his passions, Bazan lives by the creed that what we do in this one life resonates in the lives of those both present and yet to come.

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