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Fiction. Women's Studies. Music. Set against the backdrop of the 1950s when composers like John Cage were revolutionizing classical music, THE MUSIC BOOK celebrates a woman's passionate fight to do the one thing that makes her feel most alive—performing the music she loves. 1952 is a time when serious orchestral groups refused women even the chance to audition, but then a forward-looking modern music quartet needs a last-minute substitute accomplished cellist to play a difficult piece composed by their pianist. They hire Irena, the only woman musician at a classical music festival. Many years later in the memory unit of a nursing home facility, Irena recalls that festival and her unsettling relationship with the group's enigmatic composer when she receives the sonata he left for her in his will. She relives the four days she spent with him, the difficult aftermath of their affair, and the few other times she saw him during her life. As her mind shuts down, she re-experiences the intense joy she felt performing music and her struggle to enter a male-dominated world. THE MUSIC BOOK pays homage to all women who blazed a trail in the arts and indeed to all those who have struggled for the opportunity to play their music for the world.
Karen Osborn is the author of four novels: Patchwork, which won a Notable Book Award from The New York Times; Between Earth and Sky; The River Road; and Centerville, which won the Independent Publishers Gold Award in Fiction. In reviews, she's been compared to Ian McEwan, Jodi Picoult, and Russell Banks. The New York Times has called her work, "psychologically sophisticated" and The Washington Post has said her writing is "an extraordinary effort to engage the American condition as we find it now." In addition to being an author, Ms. Osborn teaches fiction writing in Fairfield University's MFA program.Author City: AMHERST, MA USA