In 1949, jazz pianist Sonny-Rhett Payne left New York for Paris, to be free from racism and his family's disapproval. Now Sonny's grandson has come to New York for a memorial concert. There, the 8-year-old begins to understand the forces that drove Sonny into exile. Paule Marshall is an award-winning author and distinguished professor of creative writing at New York University.
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"First, this is not the movie story starring Robin Williams, though the idea of protecting a wounded king figure is central. In this case, the king is jazz pianist Sonny-Rett Payne from Brooklyn, and the protector is his family, which is itself in need of protection from family strife. Robin Miles is an intelligent and versatile narrator who convinces with her plethora of dialects, foreign and domestic, while her standard English speech is equally beautiful to listen to. Marshall's writing communicates an elegant and musical subtext (evocative of jazz itself), which Miles performs with confidence and clarity. This book was made for oral interpretation. P.W. (c) AudioFile 2003, Portland, Maine"
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