Zoli: A Novel

Front Cover
Random House Publishing Group, Dec 10, 2008 - Fiction - 368 pages
3 Reviews
BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Colum McCann's TransAtlantic.

A unique love story, a tale of loss, a parable of Europe, this haunting novel is an examination of intimacy and betrayal in a community rarely captured so vibrantly in contemporary literature.

Zoli Novotna, a young woman raised in the traveling Gypsy tradition, is a poet by accident as much as desire. As 1930s fascism spreads over Czechoslovakia, Zoli and her grandfather flee to join a clan of fellow Romani harpists. Sharpened by the world of books, which is often frowned upon in the Romani tradition, Zoli becomes the poster girl for a brave new world. As she shapes the ancient songs to her times, she finds her gift embraced by the Gypsy people and savored by a young English expatriate, Stephen Swann.

But Zoli soon finds that when she falls she cannot fall halfway–neither in love nor in politics. While Zoli’s fame and poetic skills deepen, the ruling Communists begin to use her for their own favor. Cast out from her family, Zoli abandons her past to journey to the West, in a novel that spans the 20th century and travels the breadth of Europe.

Colum McCann, acclaimed author of Dancer and This Side of Brightness, has created a sensuous novel about exile, belonging and survival, based loosely on the true story of the Romani poet Papsuza. It spans the twentieth century and travels the breadth of Europe. In the tradition of Steinbeck, Coetzee, and Ondaatje, McCann finds the art inherent in social and political history, while vividly depicting how far one gifted woman must journey to find where she belongs.
 

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Zoli: A Novel

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Effectively re-creating the atmosphere of Eastern Europe and Gypsy culture from before World War II to the 1950s and later, McCann (This Side of Brightness ) retraces the life of a gifted Gypsy poet ... Read full review

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july 2013 they broke my little brown arm: perhaps this is Mccan's Irish novel; as good a writer as he is, as hard working as intentioned - perhaps still he doesn't quite know what he's doing. Which perhaps makes him a great writer

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
4
Section 3
6
Section 4
8
Section 5
15
Section 6
34
Section 7
52
Section 8
65
Section 12
205
Section 13
219
Section 14
250
Section 15
252
Section 16
287
Section 17
331
Section 18
337
Section 19
345

Section 9
135
Section 10
157
Section 11
184
Section 20
349
Copyright

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Page 10 - From what is broken, what is cracked, I make what is required...

About the author (2008)

Colum McCann is the internationally bestselling author of the novels TransAtlantic, Let the Great World Spin, Zoli, Dancer, This Side of Brightness, and Songdogs, as well as three critically acclaimed story collections. His fiction has been published in thirty-five languages. He has received many honors, including the National Book Award, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres award from the French government, and the Ireland Fund of Monaco Literary Award in Memory of Princess Grace. He has been named one of Esquire’s “Best and Brightest,” and his short film Everything in This Country Must was nominated for an Oscar in 2005. A contributor to The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, and The Paris Review, he teaches in the Hunter College MFA Creative Writing program. He lives in New York City with his wife and their three children, and he is the cofounder of the global nonprofit story exchange organization Narrative 4.

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