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Pulitzer Prize–winning author Annie Proulx brings the immigrant experience to life in this stunning novel that traces the ownership of a simple green accordion.
E. Annie Proulx’s Accordion Crimes is a masterpiece of storytelling that spans a century and a continent. Proulx brings the immigrant experience in America to life through the eyes of the descendants of Mexicans, Poles, Africans, Irish-Scots, Franco-Canadians and many others, all linked by their successive ownership of a simple green accordion. The music they make is their last link with the past—voice for their fantasies, sorrows and exuberance. Proulx’s prodigious knowledge, unforgettable characters and radiant language make Accordion Crimes a stunning novel, exhilarating in its scope and originality.
years. “I say now those were the happiest years of my life. I was making money enough to pay the mortgage, set aside a little to gain certain advantages for my children. Bubya married Uncle Juljusz, as you know. True, she was only thirteen, but it worked out well enough. Uncle Juljusz bought her a beautiful doll for a wedding present, something she always wanted but there was never the money. “Joey, I paid a suit for your father so he could play the accordion looking nice, I paid shorthand
others. He told his wife it was necessary to balance the solemn death rites of Hieronim with as much of the old wesele style as possible, although the bride and groom had sent invitations by mail instead of calling on the hoped-for guests to invite them personally or sending a druzba. Since the freshly buried father of the groom had been a part-time musician, and the groom himself played semiprofessionally, there had to be a good showing of musicians, beginning with a fiddler to play “Be Seated
Hole Close Range: Brokeback Mountain and Other Stories Heart Songs The Shipping News Postcards Copyright Fourth Estate An imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers 77–85 Fulham Palace Road, Hammersmith, London W6 8JB This Fourth Estate edition published 2009 First published in paperback by Fourth Estate in 1997 and by Harper Perennial in 2006. First published in Great Britain in 1996 by Fourth Estate Copyright © Dead Line, Ltd. 1996 Annie Proulx asserts the moral right to be
the refrigerator. He leaned on Emma’s table and listened to Wilfred saw the fiddle. “Jesus, Wilf, I can’t even play, but I can make a better noise than that,” he said. “I never heard nothing so rotten.” The next time he went to Millinocket he got an instruction book for the button accordion at Yip-I-O Music and, after ten days of sweat and fumbling and cursing, learned to play “You Are My Sunshine” and sing it at the same time, which was like patting his head and rubbing his stomach. He put
a nicety the distance he could travel in the adjoining goat pasture before the old billy would charge and helplessly clang his horns on the fence while the cat licked his paw in safety. He crossed the road sometimes to the neighbor’s where he ate the dish of scraps the child set out for a thin dog, but looked both ways first and never let himself be approached by pedestrians, especially those with guns, sticks, ropes, whips, branches, stones or other harmful objects in their hands. No one could