Fiction Janice Galloway Clara

ISBN 13: 9780099750512

Clara

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9780099750512: Clara

With "some of the greatest words ever written on thwarted love since Romeo and Juliet" (The Times, London), Clara reignites, from between the lines of history, the great love of Robert and Clara Schumann.

This impassioned novel gives voice to Clara Wieck Schumann, one of the most celebrated pianists of the nineteenth century, who today is best remembered not for her music but for her marriage. "How often you must purchase my songs with invisibility and silence, little Clara," says Robert, and, for Clara, the price of his love is dear. Shrouded in alternate layers of music and silence, the Schumann union was anything but a lullaby, marked by her valiant struggle for self-expression and his tortuous descent into madness.

With Clara, a deeply moving fugue of love, solitude, and artistic creation, Janice Galloway "has taken a melodic line and scored it for an orchestra" (The New York Times Book Review).

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Review:

Clara's grappling with the rigidities of historical character and its conjuring of a totally alien milieu--the German music scene of the mid-19th century--are all the more impressive given that Janice Galloway's previous prize-winning novels, The Trick Is to Keep Breathing and Foreign Parts, were much less ambitious in scope, dealing with contemporary lives.

Reaching her prime before the dawn of recorded sound, Clara Schumann, an acclaimed virtuoso pianist who had her own international career in European concert halls in the latter half of the 19th century, is now, sadly, only known by report as the perfect champion of her husband Robert's music. However, the bare bones of her biography hint at hidden depths: the mother, Marianne Tromlitz, who left her husband and daughter for another man; the father, Friedrich Wieck, who nurtured her career single-mindedly; the marriage, violently opposed by her father, to Robert Schumann, who soon fell into depression and whose short life ended in an asylum. Janice Galloway has taken full advantage of the raw materials of the first half of this extraordinary saga to produce a rich and compelling fictional life.

There's also a deep understanding of the social politics of Clara's background, most impressively done through her father's social climbing, hidden behind an apparently classless artistry. Galloway renders all this in an indulgent, exquisitely limpid prose: the end result is an outstanding novel, the most ambitious and most impressive of her career to date. --Alan Stewart, Amazon.co.uk

About the Author:

Janice Galloway's Clara was named the 2002 Saltire Society Scottish Book of the Year. Galloway is the author of the story collections Blood and Where You Find It and the novel The Trick Is to Keep Breathing, winner of the 1990 MIND/Allen Lane Book of the Year Award, and Foreign Parts, which won the 1994 McVitie's Prize. In 1994 she also won the E. M. Forster Award, presented by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in Glasgow, Scotland.

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Janice Galloway s new novel is based on the life of Clara Schumann: celebrated nineteenth-century concert pianist and composer, editor and teacher, friend of Brahms - who was also the wife of Robert Schumann, the mother of his eight children, and the woman who cared for him through a series of crippling mental illnesses. Clara is a lyrical and vibrant account of two remarkable and highly dramatic musical careers, but primarily it is a novel about timeless, common things: about the inescapable influences of childhood, about creativity and marital life, about communication and silence, about how art is made and how art, in turn, may erode or save the life that nourishes it. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099750512

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