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The Cellist of Sarajevo

Sarajevo: a city under siege. As the mortars fall and the snipers conduct their deadly business, a cellist sits at his window, playing Albinoni’s Adagio in G Minor. Then a bomb kills twenty-two people waiting in line to buy bread on the street below.

For the next twenty-two days he will carry his cello into the cratered street at four each afternoon and play the Adagio in memory of the dead.

Steven Galloway’s The Cellist of Sarajevo imagines those twenty-two days through the eyes of three of its citizens: Kenan who sets out every few days to fetch water for his family; Dragan who longs to be reunited with his wife and son; and Arrow, a crack ‘counter-sniper’ who is assigned the job of keeping the cellist alive.

Exquisite and profoundly moving, The Cellist of Sarajevo gives life to the courage of a broken city. It is a story about survival, about the temptation to hate and the refusal to do so, about the persistence of the human spirit in a time of fear and suffering.

Steven Galloway
About the Author

Steven Galloway was born in Vancouver in 1975. His debut novel, Finnie Walsh, was nominated for the in Canada First Novel Award. His second novel, Ascension, was nominated for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, and translated into seven languages. It was published in Australia by Text. He lives in Vancouver with his family.

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Text publication date:
2 March 2009
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Other editions ofThe Cellist of Sarajevo
  • The Cellist of Sarajevo
    ISBN: 9781921921049
    2 March 2009
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