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The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp…

The Art of Hearing Heartbeats (original 2002; edition 2012)

by Jan-Philipp Sendker

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7696512,029 (3.98)71
Title:The Art of Hearing Heartbeats
Authors:Jan-Philipp Sendker
Info:Other Press (2012), Edition: Original, Paperback, 336 pages

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The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker (2002)



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English (60)  German (2)  Italian (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (64)
Showing 1-5 of 60 (next | show all)
Four years after her father's sudden disappearance, Julia travels to Burma on a quest to find him and discover what happened: why would he abandon her and her brother and her mother for a past which he never divulged? With only an address to begin her search in the mountain village of Kilaw, she runs into an old man named U Ba who knows her without having met her and offers to tell her the story of her father.

This story is, above all, about the transcendent and transformative power of love. The story of Julia's father, Tin Win, takes on an almost ethereal quality right from the start. Julia starts to realize how little she really knew him and starts to see him more as a person and less as a child looking up to an unknowable parent. "Do children want to know their parents as independent individuals? Can we see them as they were before we came into the world?" she wonders. How much can we know or love others? How much do we empathize, or how much misunderstand? The lovely story of The Art of Hearing Heartbeats explores and celebrates the human capacity to love, the most abiding force in the world. ( )
  bell7 | Sep 16, 2015 |
Julia's father disappears while on a business trip to Burma She is devastated by his disappearance, which seems to have been a choice. Why would he leave his family? Didn't he love them? When she travels to Burma four years later she hears a story of his earlier life that changes how she feels about everything.
A quote that stays with me: "Because we see only what we already know. We project our own capacities--for good as well as evil--onto the other person. Then we acknowledge as love primarily those things that correspond to our own images thereof. We wish to be loved as we ourselves would love. Any other way makes us uncomfortable. We respond with doubt and suspicion. We misinterpret the signs. We do not understand the language. We accuse. We assert that the other person does not love us. But perhaps he merely loves us in some idiosyncratic way that we fail to recognize."
I enjoyed this as a picture of the culture of pre-WWII Burma, almost like a folktale. ( )
  terran | Jul 26, 2015 |
In the end, there could not have been a different ending. It may not have seemed happy, but, really, the two lovers were willing to live a life separated because they had found each other? A bit far-fetched, but still a world I would be willing to live in. ( )
  sraelling | May 21, 2015 |
Beautifully written - with a fluidity of language that was intoxicating. I would not put this down once I started, so much so that last night I stayed up till around 1:30 am to finish the book. I would definitely recommend this. ( )
  CeliciaS | Mar 15, 2015 |
Bored throughout. Considered just quitting over and over again but such great reviews had me second guessing myself and thinking something had to improve. For me, it didn't. I didn't care at all about any of the characters....they were so underdeveloped. They were the sum total of their special talent, be it telling a story, magical hearing, or exquisite grace. I can appreciate the beauty and subtlety of the magic but that's it. Beyond that it just fell completely flat for me. ( )
  tnociti | Mar 12, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 60 (next | show all)
"The heart of this sentimental novel is the romance between the teenagers Tin Win and Mi Mi in pre-World War II Burma. Recommended for readers who enjoy sweetly tragic romances."
added by Christa_Josh | editLibrary Journal, Pamela Mann (Nov 1, 2011)

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jan-Philipp Sendkerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wiliarty, KevinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Book description
When Julia Win's father disappears one morning without a trace, the day after her graduation from law school, her family is left unsettled and confused. It's not until a few years later that her mother finds a piece of the puzzle - an unmailed love letter to a Burmese woman named Mi Mi.

Intent on solving the mystery and coming to terms with her father's past, Julia puts her career and her life on hold to travel to the village where Mi Mi once lived. Her journey takes her to the small mountain village of Kalaw where she is approached by a man who claims to know her father, and who seems to have an uncanny knowledge of Julia herself. Intrigued, she returns to meet him every afternoon and listen to his incredible tales of her father's youth - of his childhood blindness, his education at a monastery, and, most of all, about his passionate relationship with a local girl.

At first Julia is unwilling to believe that the romantic boy in this poignant story has anything to do with her reticent father, but soon she can no longer withstand the almost mystical invoking of mysterious past events, entwined as they are with the influence of the stars and with a love larger than life.

The Art of Hearing Heartbeats is a magical and uplifting tale of hardship and resilience, and the unyielding power of love to move mountains.
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When a successful New York lawyer suddenly disappears without a trace, neither his wife nor his daughter Julia has any idea where he might be--until they find a love letter he wrote many years ago to a Burmese woman they have never heard of. Intent on solving the mystery and coming to terms with her father's past, Julia decides to travel to the village where the woman lived. There she uncovers a tale of unimaginable hardship, resilience, and passion that will reaffirm the listener's belief in the power of love to move mountains.… (more)

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