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Accordion Crimes by Annie Proulx
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Accordion Crimes (1999)

by Annie Proulx

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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» See also 103 mentions

English (43)  Dutch (1)  All languages (44)
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
Annie is an American gold piece. A treasure. Always gives the best history class with topping around ( )
  paleporter | Aug 27, 2017 |
A Sicilian makes a two-button accordion and then goes to La Merica with his son, Silvano. There, they encounter racism and suspicion, are lumped together with all "Italians" and find themselves competing for jobs with black men. The story then unfolds following the accordion's travels to German immigrants in the midwest, to Mexican Americans in Texas, through time and various immigrant experiences.

This is probably one of the most complicated stories we've read for my library book club. The one story is essentially eight longish short stories detailing the lives of many characters, moving back and forth in time to tell individual's stories, all the while the accordion features in some way, small or large, sweeping through almost a century. There are moments of humor, but most of the tale is bleak and does not shy away from horrors of death or reversals of fortune. By the end, I was bracing myself for the next awful thing to happen. The writing is lovely, descriptive, and keeps you reading at a slower pace pondering these characters and their lives. WE will have plenty to discuss from the immigrant experience to the power of music to the intricacies of the plot. ( )
  bell7 | Mar 15, 2017 |
Follows the journey of an accordion from Sicily 1890 to Florida 1996. ( )
  FoxTribeMama | Oct 2, 2016 |
In 1890, Sicily, an accordion maker finishes his finest instrument - an accordion with bone buttons and sleek lacquer. He dreams of owning a music store in America. He and his young daughter, along with the green accordion, set foot to New Orleans. Within a year, the accordion maker is murdered by a mob, but the accordion lives and carries Proulx's story into another community of immigrants.
  MerrittGibsonLibrary | Jul 6, 2016 |
Genius. Depressing, but profound. Proulx has touched on something dark, deep and true about human nature - and pulled the curtain back on our American mythology. This book tackles the cycle of prejudice- looking at it not from the ‘haves’ condescending to the ‘have-nots’ – but rather from the much more disturbing reality: the fringes adopting prejudicial mentalities to become ‘true Americans.’ A rite of passage for disenfranchised groups- the real fire behind our hallowed melting pot. Stylistically, Proulx’s writing is an experience in itself. One of the most colorful descriptions of her work highlights her intense focus on the physical world, stating “Reading Ms. Proulx’s prose is like bouncing along rutted country roads in a pickup truck with no shock absorbers” (Garner, New York Times). Yes. Proulx’s writing is a bit uncomfortable and jarring--- but something you feel deep in your bones. ( )
  Alidawn | Jan 29, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Proulx, AnnieAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fields, AnnaReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Szoka KatherineCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Willemse, ReginaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilson, MeganCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
My dad came over with a button accordion in a gunny sack, that's about all he had.
~ Ray Maki,
liner notes, Accordions in the Cutover
Without the presence of black people in America, European-Americans would not be "white" -- they would be only Irish, Italians, Poles, Welsh, and others engaged in class, ethnic, and gender struggles over resources and identity.
~ Cornel West, Race Matters
Caminante, no hay camino,
Se hace camino al andar.

Traveler, there is no path,
Paths are made by walking.
~ Antonio Machado
Dedication
FOR
MUFFY, JON, GILLIS, AND MORGAN
AND
IN MEMORY OF LOIS NELLIE GILL
First words
It was as if his eye were an ear and a crackle went through it each time he shot a look at the accordion.
Het was of zijn oog een oor was waar, iedere keer als hij een blik op de accordeon wierp, geknetter in klonk.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
For her third novel, Annie Proulx decided to focus on the American immigrant experience, a topic that had intrigued her for some time. Proulx told interviewer Sybil Steinberg she wanted to write "about the cost of coming from one culture to another. I wanted to get a sense of that looming overculture that demands of newcomers that they give up their language, their music, their food, their names."
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0684831546, Paperback)

Proulx found fertile, if rocky, soil for her first two novels (Postcards and The Shipping News) in the far northeastern corner of North America. In Accordion Crimes she ranges much further afield. The novel follows an accordion from the hands of its maker in Sicily in 1890 until it is flattened by a truck in Florida in 1996. In the intervening century it passes through the hands of a host of unlucky owners and their kin: Abelardo Relampago, who dies from the bite of a poisonous spider; Dolor Gagnon, decapitated by his own chain saw; Silvano, cut down in the jungles of Venezuela by an Indian's arrow.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:17 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A tale of immigrants centered on an accordion brought to America in the 1880s. After its Italian owner is murdered, the instrument passes into the hands of other ethnic groups--German, French-Canadian, Mexican, Polish, Norwegian--and the novel describes their ceremonies, dreams and hates. By the author of The Shipping News.… (more)

» see all 8 descriptions

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