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The Accordionist's Son
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A magnificent family epic, haunted by the shadow of the Spanish Civil War, by award-winning Basque author Bernardo Atxaga.

About the Author

Bernardo Atxaga was born in Gipuzkoa in Spain in 1951 and lives in the Basque Country, writing in Basque and Spanish. He is a prizewinning novelist and poet, whose books, including Obabakoak and Seven Houses in France, have won critical acclaim in Spain and abroad. His works have been translated into twenty-two languages. Margaret Jull Costa has been a literary translator from Spanish and Portugese for over twenty years, translating such writers as Jose Saramago, Eca de Queiroz, Luis Fernando Verissimo and Fernando Pessoa. Her work has brought her a number of prizes, the most recent of which was the 2010 Premio Valle-Inclan for Javier Marias' Your Face Tomorrow 3: Poison, Shadow and Farewell.

Reviews

This important novel from Atxaga (The Lone Man) about the still unresolved struggle for Basque cultural independence is both epic and intimate. Covering several decades and including a vast cast of well-drawn characters, the story focuses on David Imaz and the development of his political conscience. Growing up in the Basque village of Obaba, David spends much of his adolescence caught between the traditional peasant life of the workers on his mother's family estate and the more modern life of his school friends. When he learns of his father's past activities in support of the fascist government, David continues to sit on the fence until events touch too close to home. Along with a political story that will be new to many readers, this book also offers a universal coming-of-age story about friends, family, first (and second and third) love, and finding one's own path. Recommended for academic and public libraries.-Christine DeZelar-Tiedman, Univ. of Minnesota Libs., Minneapolis Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

Axtaga returns to Obaba, the fictional village at the heart of his acclaimed novel Obabakoak, to tell a gorgeous and ambitious story about the Basque land and language. Much of the book is set in the 1960s, when David Imaz, the teenage son of an accordionist, begins to suspect his father participated in the execution of villagers accused of being Republicans during the Spanish Civil War. Twenty-five years after the war officially ended, political-even inadvertently political-choices remain deadly, but fear of Franco's civil guard neither darkens the innocence or exuberance of the young nor lightens the guilt of their parents. In Obaba, grudges and friendships are long-lasting and deep, and secrets are buried only shallowly. The narrative moves back and forth through time, from the 1990s, when gravely ill David reflects on his life from a ranch in California, to the war in the 1930s and through David's sometimes dangerous coming-of-age up through the 1970s. Originally written in Basque (and later translated into Spanish), the novel is a worthy addition to both Axtaga's body of work and the Basque canon. (Feb.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

"The first great Basque novel" * Times Literary Supplement *
"A briliantly inventive writer... terribly moving and wildly funny" -- A. S. Byatt
"This most delicate and personal of novels packs a powerful political message" * Independent *
"Incredibly powerful... magnificently written" * Financial Times *
"A magical novel that exlores friendship and memory, language and loss" * Metro *

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