Under the Visible Life (Hardback)
  • Under the Visible Life (Hardback)
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Under the Visible Life (Hardback)

(author)
£12.99
Hardback 320 Pages / Published: 04/02/2016
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Half Chinese and half Canadian, Katherine Goodnow struggles through a 1950's childhood hostile to all she represents. Then, as a teenager, she discovers jazz, and her life is transformed. Her talent for the piano brings her freedom, adventure, and a sense of purpose, helping her survive unexpected motherhood and her incurable love for the unreliable father of her children. Half American and half Afghani, Mahsa Weaver is only twelve when, after the death of her parents, she is sent to live with strict relatives in Karachi. Struggling to break free, she escapes to Montreal, but the threads of her past are not so easily severed, and she finds herself forced into an arranged marriage. For Mahsa, too, music becomes her solace and passion, allowing her to dare to dream of a life that is really her own. When these two women meet in New York, they begin a friendship that will change everything. Vividly rendered and sweeping in scope, Under the Visible Life is a stunning meditation on how hope can remain alive in the darkest of times, if we have someone with whom to share our burdens.

Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781781255797
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 558 g
Dimensions: 220 x 140 x 30 mm
Edition: Main


MEDIA REVIEWS
I lost count of how many times I was caught off-guard by the poignancy of this novel. Every page pits hope against despair. Every page screams, fight for your dreams, you are lost without them. This story of motherhood and friendship, anchored by two extraordinary heroines, will stay with me for a long time. -- Khaled Hosseini
This book is nothing short of a masterpiece. * Quill and Quire *
This novel is a love song to music itself, the true and requited love of these gifted musicians' lives * Globe & Mail *
Echlin has created two women who practically explode off the page with their desire, talent and brilliance. They are both incredibly flawed, making all the wrong choices, falling for difficult men, and raising kids on messy kitchens floors-and yet, like most women, they find a way to make life work through the chaos. The result is a book that has the rhythm, cadence and sexuality of a piano tune played in a little theatre on the wrong side of a big town. * Heather O'Neill *
The novel carries readers through an impressive cavalcade of personal and societal changes. Echlin is that rare writer who can evoke the joy of playing and listening to music without resorting to overly abstract language or fuzzy metaphors. * Toronto Star Review *
Jazz is blood, bone and spirit in Kim Echlin's wonderful novel. Under the Visible Life is as heady and unexpected as a Coltrane riff, as lush as life itself. -- Esi Edugyan
Her prose is always arresting: plain and vigorous, laconic and sensual, a language of resistance, dreaming of female freedom ... Echlin seeks to reproduce in words music's transgressive enchantments, an ekphrastic impulse mimed in choppy sentences, syncopated rhythms and rhapsodies on the theme of Coltrane and McCoy Tyner. -- Stevie Davies * Independent *
Echlin impresses with the seemingly flawless presentation of Mahsa's Muslim family and the Karachi setting ... The sweaty clubs are vividly evoked, the music almost rising off the page. Rather than a study of stardom, the novel turns a spotlight on the jobbing players, the ranks of professional musicians who gamely keep on swinging but who never get the big breaks. It's all the more effective - and poignant - for that. -- Suzi Feay * Guardian *

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