By Annie Proulx
The 3rd novel from the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer of 'The delivery News', 'Accordion Crimes' spans generations, continents and a century and confirms the hallucinatory strength of Proulx's writing. 'Accordion Crimes' is a masterpiece of story-telling that spans a century and a continent. It opens in 1890 in Sicily, while an accordion-maker and his son, sporting little greater than his best button accordion, commence their voyage to the teeming, violent port of latest Orleans. inside of a 12 months, the accordion-maker is murdered via an anti-Italian lynch mob, yet his tool incorporates the radical into one other neighborhood of immigrants: German-Americans founding a brand new city in South Dakota. relocating from South Dakota to Texas, from Montana to Maine, the 9 immediately compelling and intricately attached sections of the radical light up the lives of the founders of a kingdom, descendants of Mexicans, Poles, Germans, Irish, Scots and Franco-Canadians. throughout the track of the accordion they convey their fantasies, sorrows and enthusiasm.
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When we cut the cake, Monsieur Charles, the maitre-d', surprised you with a cupcake on which a single candle rode. ) There was white satin, as usual, & the usual rice. We had three children, four grandchildren -a little girl you never met is at this moment crying in the next room, & the sun is climbing over the cypresses. As is customary, more than two thirds of the party are now dead, including of course you, and who will wave and smile in the backseat of the car, 47 who will roll down the window and let in the cold air?
9 How ' WE DIDN T TELL HER that the housekeeper said that the gardener said that someone named Jean or Jeannie or Jenny who was his friend or maybe his boss had said that today that just today he was hit by a car & he was killed he died at once in the prime of his handsome youth he who was her youngest her onetime baby ice-cream cone with dimpled arms & scrumptious tummy he who gardened & prayed for purity on earth but we said let's wait let's 30 wait to tell her till we're sure & we called the gardener the housekeeper the irrigation lady the police the coroner the highway patrol the neighbors we called everyone but her until at last the gardener said no no how could the housekeeper get it so wrong it wasn't him it was someone else who was hit by a car& killed today & we rejoiced & were glad we hadn't told her because his handsome flesh his pulsing prime returned to us as a gift more precious than before & as for the other one, the other mother's son who really died 31 today we let him go we didn't give him another thought.
The tumult of birth pummeled and plunged him out, nothing could stop the clenched fist of the womb, the lips that gaped and uttered him head to toe, the what that made him ugly or smart or handsome and then (as you lay dying) the afterbirth, the cage of breath, the blood, the aftermath. -FOR E. L. , FEBRUARY II, 2005 45 ANTI-SONNET Fifteen years in the sweet-scented meadow, its grasses restlessly balancing tendrils and tips of light, and the ocean juggling the sky in bits and pieces, and the cattails crinkling in the yellow heat .
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