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Exile Music: A Novel Paperback – May 4, 2021

4.7 out of 5 stars 166 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A beautiful coming-of-age tale... Moving, evocative, and well-researched, this is sure to linger in readers’ minds long after the last page has been turned." Booklist (starred) 

"Immersive... evocative." 
Publishers Weekly

"Beautifully narrated...From the very first pages I was swept up."
—Georgia HunterNew York Times bestselling author of We Were the Lucky Ones

“Gorgeous and lyrical,
Exile Music captures the delicate rhythm of one girl's coming of age while driven by war and exile. Heart-wrenching, tender and powerful." —Jean KwokNew York Times bestselling author of Searching for Sylvie Lee
 
“Out of this this little-known corner of history, Steil offers a beautiful meditation on the things we all hold dear - family, friendship, home.
My Beautiful Friend meets The Pianist in this elegant symphony of a novel.”
—Ruth Gilligan, author of Nine Folds Makes a Paper Swan 
 
“This riveting, elegantly rendered coming-of-age story sheds light on the community of Jewish refugees who found sanctuary in La Paz, Bolivia. With vivid historical details and unforgettable characters,
Exile Music captures the heartbreak of exile, the painful scars of survival, and the redemptive power of art.”
—Amy Gottlieb, author of The Beautiful Possible
 
“A celebration of the redemptive power of love, art and music in the face of the cataclysms of history, this novel weaves a powerful spell. I fell in love with Orly, a keeper of secrets and stories, who holds her family together by force of will when it seems certain they will fray apart. In prose of vivid beauty and lyrical toughness, Steil illuminates the life of the émigré with moments of unexpected kindness, tension, tragedy and triumph.”
—Ariel Kahn, author of Raising Sparks
 
"Jennifer Steil has created a world that is as fierce and stunning as her exquisite language. She dares ask the question where do we belong - and forces the reader to question our own conceptions of what makes a home. Ultimately, this is a story of a woman searching for herself following unimaginable trauma."
—Elizabeth L. Silver, author of The Execution of Noa P. Singleton
 
“Vienna, Austria and La Paz, Bolivia; war and peace; immediate love and mingled yearning; tangled desires sprung from single seeds—
Exile Music is a magnificent exercise in connections among objects, ideas, and places that seem to have nothing in common, but do.”
—Beth Kephart, author of Strike the Empty and This is the Story of You
 
“Here is a coming-of-age book for anyone who has ever felt their world shift on its axis, from light to dark, from comfort to abject terror, from sonorous to sheer noise--for anyone who has ever had to run. A lyric and heartrending adventure.”
—Elizabeth Cohen, author of The Family on Beartown Road

“Jennifer Steil is a conjurer of spells and a resurrector of lives past. In
Exile Music she brings to life a little-known chapter of a war that came to define us, & which were still grappling w today. This beautiful book is at once timeless and topical. A great novel.”
Daniel Torday, winner of the National Jewish Book Award for The Last Flight of Poxl West 

About the Author

Jennifer Steil is the author of two previous books, The Woman Who Fell from the Sky, a memoir of her experience as a journalist in Yemen, and The Ambassador's Wife, a novel about a hostage crisis that was also inspired by Steil's own experience. She currently lives in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, with her husband and daughter.
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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Penguin Books (May 4, 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 432 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0525561838
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0525561835
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 10.4 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.5 x 0.91 x 8.23 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 166 ratings

About the author

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Jennifer Steil is an award-winning author who lives in Uzbekistan, England, and France. Her recent novel, Exile Music, explores an overlooked slice of World War II history, following Jewish musicians who flee Vienna in 1939 to seek refuge in the Bolivian Andes. It won Grand Prize in the Eyelands 2020 Book Awards; the Multicultural and Historical novel International Book Awards; and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Lesbian Fiction Award, the Bisexual Book Award, and the Annie Award. The Jerusalem Post called it “one of the best novels I have read in a long time,” and the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle wrote, “In a sea of Holocaust literature, ‘Exile Music’ stands out as wholly original and engaging.” Her previous novel, The Ambassador’s Wife, inspired by her own kidnapping experience in Yemen, won the the 2013 William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition Best Novel award, the 2016 Phillip McMath Post Publication book award, and was a finalist for the Bisexual Book Award and the Lascaux Novel Award. She is also the author of The Woman Who Fell From the Sky, a memoir about her tenure as editor-in-chief of a newspaper in Sana’a, Yemen.

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
166 global ratings

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