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.
Livingston Press at the University of West Al, 9781604892499, 264pp.
Publication Date: May 1, 2020