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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
Standing at his window on May 27, 1992, the cellist has no idea what is about to happen. The mortar that falls in front of his apartment building kills 22 of his friends and neighbors as they wait in line for bread, and in a moment, his world is horribly diminished. In mute defiance of the danger of doing so, he carries his instrument to the very place where the mortar exploded and plays. His intention is to play for 22 days -- one day for each person killed -- if he survives that long.
In Galloway's spare and haunting first novel, the cellist is just one of four distinct voices that serve as witnesses of the bloody siege of Sarajevo: a 28-year-old woman no longer identified as a daughter, sister, student, or lover but solely by her greatest and most deadly talent -- finding a target and hitting it; a young man preparing to leave the sanctity of his home to retrieve water for his family, a seemingly ordinary journey that forces him to weigh the cost of humanity against that of his own survival; another man en route to a bakery who happens upon an old friend and begins to reminisce.
Each of these voices is drawn into the orbit of the cellist's musical protest, reclaiming their presence and a small measure of their once beautiful city. (Summer 2008 Selection)