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The Cellist of Sarajevo
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Published:
Penguin Publishing Group 2008
Status:
Checked Out
Description
A spare and haunting, wise and beautiful novel about war and the endurance of the human spirit and the subtle ways individuals reclaim their humanity.
In a city under siege, four people whose lives have been upended are ultimately reminded of what it is to be human. From his window, a musician sees twenty-two of his friends and neighbors waiting in a breadline. Then, in a flash, they are killed by a mortar attack. In an act of defiance, the man picks up his cello and decides to play at the site of the shelling for twenty-two days, honoring their memory. Elsewhere, a young man leaves home to collect drinking water for his family and, in the face of danger, must weigh the value of generosity against selfish survivalism. A third man, older, sets off in search of bread and distraction and instead runs into a long-ago friend who reminds him of the city he thought he had lost, and the man he once was. As both men are drawn into the orbit of cello music, a fourth character—a young woman, a sniper—holds the fate of the cellist in her hands. As she protects him with her life, her own army prepares to challenge the kind of person she has become.
A novel of great intensity and power, and inspired by a true story, The Cellist of Sarajevo poignantly explores how war can change one’s definition of humanity, the effect of music on our emotional endurance, and how a romance with the rituals of daily life can itself be a form of resistance.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
5/15/2008
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781440636004
ASIN:
B001CUUNK4
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Steven Galloway. (2008). The Cellist of Sarajevo. Penguin Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Steven Galloway. 2008. The Cellist of Sarajevo. Penguin Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Steven Galloway, The Cellist of Sarajevo. Penguin Publishing Group, 2008.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Steven Galloway. The Cellist of Sarajevo. Penguin Publishing Group, 2008.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 17:27:01
Date Updated:
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title
The Cellist of Sarajevo
fullDescription
A spare and haunting, wise and beautiful novel about war and the endurance of the human spirit and the subtle ways individuals reclaim their humanity.
In a city under siege, four people whose lives have been upended are ultimately reminded of what it is to be human. From his window, a musician sees twenty-two of his friends and neighbors waiting in a breadline. Then, in a flash, they are killed by a mortar attack. In an act of defiance, the man picks up his cello and decides to play at the site of the shelling for twenty-two days, honoring their memory. Elsewhere, a young man leaves home to collect drinking water for his family and, in the face of danger, must weigh the value of generosity against selfish survivalism. A third man, older, sets off in search of bread and distraction and instead runs into a long-ago friend who reminds him of the city he thought he had lost, and the man he once was. As both men are drawn into the orbit of cello music, a fourth character—a young woman, a sniper—holds the fate of the cellist in her hands. As she protects him with her life, her own army prepares to challenge the kind of person she has become.
A novel of great intensity and power, and inspired by a true story, The Cellist of Sarajevo poignantly explores how war can change one’s definition of humanity, the effect of music on our emotional endurance, and how a romance with the rituals of daily life can itself be a form of resistance.
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      • value: Grade 1
      • value: Grade 2
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      • premium: False
      • source: Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns
      • content: Praise for Steven Galloway's The Cellist of Sarajevo:"Though the setting is the siege of Sarajevo in the 1990s, this gripping novel transcends time and place. It is a universal story, and a testimony to the struggle to find meaning, grace, and humanity, even amid the most unimaginable horrors."
      • premium: False
      • source: ZZ Packer, author of Drinking Coffee Elsewhere
      • content: "I cannot imagine a lovelier, more beautifully wrought book about the depravity of war as The Cellist of Sarajevo. Each chapter is a brief glimpse at yet another aspect of the mind, the heart, the soul-altogether Galloway gives us fine, deep notes of human music which will remain long after the final page.
      • premium: False
      • source: Yann Martel, author of Life of Pi
      • content: "A grand and powerful novel about how people retain or reclaim their humanity when they are under extreme duress."
      • premium: False
      • source: J. M. Coetzee, author of Disgrace and Diary of a Bad Year
      • content: "A gripping story of Sarajevo under siege."
      • premium: False
      • source: Kevin Baker, author of Dreamland and Paradise Alley
      • content: "Steven Galloway's The Cellist of Sarajevo is a wonderful story, a tribute to the human spirit in the face of insanity."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        June 2, 2008
        Canadian Galloway (Ascension) delivers a tense and haunting novel following four people trying to survive war-torn Sarajevo. After a mortar attack kills 22 people waiting in line to buy bread, an unnamed cellist vows to play at the point of impact for 22 days. Meanwhile, Arrow, a young woman sniper, picks off soldiers; Kenan makes a dangerous trek to get water for his family; and Dragan, who sent his wife and son out of the city at the start of the war, works at a bakery and trades bread in exchange for shelter. Arrow's assigned to protect the cellist, but when she's eventually ordered to commit a different kind of killing, she must decide who she is and why she kills. Dragan believes he can protect himself through isolation, but that changes when he runs into a friend of his wife's attempting to cross a street targeted by snipers. Kenan is repeatedly challenged by his fear and a cantankerous neighbor. All the while, the cellist continues to play. With wonderfully drawn characters and a stripped-down narrative, Galloway brings to life a distant conflict.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        April 15, 2008
        A bread line in besieged Sarajevo. A mortar lobbed by Serb soldiers on the hill. Death for 22 people. A cellist sees it all and determines to honor the deadand perhaps assuage his own painby playing Albinoni's "Adagio" on the spot for 22 days. And so Galloway opens his first novel, inspired by true events, weaving together four lives to tell the awful story of Sarajevo's devastation. Aside from the cellist, there's Kenan, who risks his life every few days to carry plastic canisters to the brewery and retrieve water for his family. Dragan, who got his family out before the bombs started falling, works at the bakery for, literally, his daily bread. Both must cower on street corners and watch those who risk crossing get shot or killed. Arrow, who uses an alias, is a sniper desperate to defend her city and just as desperate not to compromise her humanity by hating the men who rain death down on the city. In the end, each takes a stand, small or large, to assure that the "Sarajevo that [they want] to live is alive again." Galloway writes simply and affectingly, occasionally resorting to cliché and just as often hitting a sweet, clear note that makes the siege of Sarajevo very real. For most collections. [See Prepub Alert, "LJ" 1/08.]Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal

        Copyright 2008 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        April 1, 2008
        Inspired by Vedran Smailovic, the cellist who, in 1992, played in a bombed-out Sarajevo square for 22 days in memory of the 22 people who were killed by a mortar attack, this isa novel about four people trying to maintain a semblance of their humanity in the besieged city. Kenan trudges across the city to collect water from the brewery for his family; on his way to buy bread, Dragan meets an old friend who reminds him of life before the war; Arrow, a sniper fighting against the occupation, is charged with keeping the cellist alive; and the cellist himself, in his simple act of performing, courageously brings a touch of life back to the citizens. Although Galloways characters weigh the value of their lives against the choices they must make, he effectively creates a fifth character in the city itself, capturing the details among the rubble and destruction that give added weight to his memorable novel.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2008, American Library Association.)

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shortDescription
A spare and haunting, wise and beautiful novel about war and the endurance of the human spirit and the subtle ways individuals reclaim their humanity.
In a city under siege, four people whose lives have been upended are ultimately reminded of what it is to be human. From his window, a musician sees twenty-two of his friends and neighbors waiting in a breadline. Then, in a flash, they are killed by a mortar attack. In an act of defiance, the man picks up his cello and decides to play at the site of the shelling for twenty-two days, honoring their memory. Elsewhere, a young man leaves home to collect drinking water for his family and, in the face of danger, must weigh the value of generosity against selfish survivalism. A third man, older, sets off in search of bread and distraction and instead runs into a long-ago friend who reminds him of the city he thought he had lost, and the man he once was. As both men are drawn into the orbit of cello music, a fourth...
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publisher
Penguin Publishing Group
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      • description: FICTION / Historical / General
      • code: FIC019000
      • description: Fiction / Literary
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      • description: Fiction / War & Military