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From the songs of Arab diva Umm Khultum on the banks of the Tigris to the strains of a young boy playing the violin for his mother in Melbourne, to the swing jazz of the nightclubs and cabarets of 1940s Baghdad, a fisherman playing a flute on the banks of the Mekong, and Paganini in the borderlands of eastern Poland… Music weaves its way through each of these spellbinding stories. Each tale, each fragment of music, leads to Amal, the woman who saved her life by clinging to a corpse for twenty hours alone in the sea.
Arnold Zable takes the reader on an intimate journey into the lives of people he met on travels over the last forty years. These are tales aching to be told. Tales of hardship, of yearning and of celebration. Tales that span the globe, and bring us back to Melbourne to the powerful and heartbreaking story of Amal—her flight from Baghdad, her fears boarding the unseaworthy SIEV X, her survival when it went down, and her desire to have her story told.
'Maybe this is why I am alive,' Amal says, 'to tell the story of the people who sank in the ocean.'
About The Author
Arnold Zable was born in Wellington, New Zealand, and grew up in the inner Melbourne suburb of Carlton. He has travelled and lived in the USA, India, Papua New Guinea, Europe, Southeast Asia and China, and now lives in Melbourne with his wife and son. His books include Jewels and Ashes, Café Scheherazade, The Fig Tree, Scraps of Heaven and Sea of Many Returns. Arnold is president of the International PEN, Melbourne, and is a human rights advocate.
Published: 1st August 2011
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.5
Weight (kg): 0.245