The Accordionist's Son by Bernardo Atxaga, NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble
The Accordionist's Son: A Novel

The Accordionist's Son: A Novel

by Bernardo Atxaga
     
 

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A celebrated international author, listed among the "21 top writers for the 21st century" (The Observer, U.K.)

As David Imaz, on the threshold of adulthood, divides his time between his uncle Juan's ranch and his life in the village, where he reluctantly practices the accordion, a tradition that his authoritarian father insists he continue, he becomes

Overview

A celebrated international author, listed among the "21 top writers for the 21st century" (The Observer, U.K.)

As David Imaz, on the threshold of adulthood, divides his time between his uncle Juan's ranch and his life in the village, where he reluctantly practices the accordion, a tradition that his authoritarian father insists he continue, he becomes increasingly aware of the long shadow cast by the Spanish Civil War.

Letters found in a hotel attic, along with a silver pistol, lead David to unravel the story of the conflict, including his father's association with the fascists, and the opposition of his uncle, who took considerable risks in helping to hide a wanted republican. With affection and lucidity, Bernardo Atxaga describes the evolution of a young man caught between country and town, between his uncle the horse-breeder and his political father. The course of David's life changes one summer night when he agrees to shelter a group of students on the run from the military police.

This is the most accomplished novel to date by an internationally celebrated writer. The Accordionist's Son is memorable for its epic scope—from 1936 to 1999—and the details with which it sparkles in gorgeous prose. It is easy to understand why The Observer listed Atxaga as one of the top twenty-one writers for the twenty-first century.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

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.)

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Library Journal

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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781555970024
Publisher:
Graywolf Press
Publication date:
10/26/2010
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
400
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Bernardo Atxaga was born in Gipuzkoa, Spain, in 1951 and lives in the Basque country, writing in Basque and Spanish. He is a prizewinning novelist and poet whose books include Obabakoak, The Lone Man, and The Lone Woman.

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