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Head of Zeus
The Conductor
01 Jan 2013 * PAPERBACK * £7.99 * 9781908800428

A profoundly moving story of music, survival, friendship and love in wartime Leningrad.

Fiction / FA (Fiction)
Extent: 304 pages  Format: 198 x 129 mm
Exclusive: GB IN ZA SG   Not for sale: AU NZ US
The Conductorby Sarah Quigley

The crackle of a tannoy breaks a pregnant silence...

...and for one moment, as the barrage of shell and artillery pauses, music washes over the city of Leningrad.

The defiant symphony of Leningrad's famous son, the composer Shostakovich, infiltrates ruined homes and businesses, echoing in the empty streets, and, perhaps, even beyond the besieged walls to the very heart of the German forces.

But this is not the story of Shostakovich. This is the story of a man caught in the white heat of obsession. A man who inspired an entire city, much less a ragged orchestra of half-starved musicians, to an act of resistance and hope in a time of war. Karl Eliasberg. The Conductor.

Sarah Quigley is a New Zealand-born novelist, poet and critic. She has a D.Phil. in Literature from the University of Oxford, and has won several awards for her writing. Since winning the Creative New Zealand Berlin Writers Residency in 2000, Quigley has been based in Berlin.

'[An] up-all-night page-turner... conveying the extraordinary life-saving properties of music, and hope' Observer

'An extraordinary period of history brought into proximity by a daring novelist... Superbly imagined and brilliantly realised' Lloyd Jones

'Deserves to be mentioned alongside Jane Smiley, Andrea Levy and Rose Tremai' Sunday Herald

Extraordinary... a symphony on the power of love – the love of music, home, family, city... A triumph on every level' New Zealand Herald

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