CEERES of Voices: Bradford Morrow - "The Prague Sonata" - Esther Peters

Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Bradford Morrow & Esther Peters


“This rich, masterful novel brilliantly explores the complex tumble of history, the human capacity for good and for evil, the fragile but redeeming glory of art. Morrow has long been one of America’s finest novelists. And this humanely epic tale is his finest book.”                                                            — Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Perfume River 

CEERES of Voices presents Bradford Morrow on his novel The Prague Sonata. He will be joined in conversation by Esther Peters.

Presented in partnership with CEERES, the Center for East European and Russian/Eurasian Studies at the University of Chicago.

At 57th Street Books

RSVP HERE (Please note that your RSVP is requested, but not required)

About the book: A grand epic that was over twelve years in the making, The Prague Sonata is award-winning writer Bradford Morrow’s masterpiece. Following the trail of a lost eighteenth-century sonata manuscript, this literary quest novel moves back and forth in time –— from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia to modern-day Greenwich Village; from postwar London to the heartland of immigrant America—telling, ultimately, a story of the trials and triumphs of love over the course of generations. In the early days of the new millennium, pages of a weathered original sonata manuscript—the gift of a Holocaust survivor living out her final days in Queens—come into the hands of Meta Taverner, a young musicologist whose concert piano career was cut short by an injury. To Meta’s eye, it appears to be an authentic eighteenth-century work; to her discerning ear, the music rendered there is hauntingly beautiful, clearly the composition of a master. But there is no indication of who the composer might be. The gift comes with the request that Meta attempt to find the manuscript’s true owner—a Prague friend the old woman has not heard from since WWII forced them apart—and to make the three-part sonata whole again. Leaving New York behind for the post-Velvet revolution Prague in the land of Dvorák and Kafka, Meta sets out on an unforgettable search to locate the remaining movements of the sonata and uncover a story that has influenced the course of many lives, even as it becomes clear that she isn’t the only one after the music’s secrets. At its heart, The Prague Sonata revolves around the sacrifices a handful of everyday people make to preserve cultural heritage in the face of tyranny and greed. Magisterially evoking decades of Prague’s tragic and triumphant history, Morrow’s novel is both epic and intimate, evoking the ways in which individual notes of love and sacrifice become part of the celebratory symphony of life.

About the author: Bradford Morrow is the author of eight novels, including Trinity Fields, The Diviner's Tale, The Forgers, and now, The Prague Sonata. He is also the author of The Uninnocent, a short story collection. He is the editor of Conjunctions, which he founded in 1981. Morrow has received numerous awards and honors, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, O. Henry and Pushcart prizes, an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the PEN/Nora Magid Award for excellence in editing a literary journal. A Bard Center Fellow and professor of literature at Bard College, he lives in New York City. www.BradfordMorrow.com

About the interlocutor: Esther Peters received her PhD from the University of Chicago in 2014. She returned to the University as the Outreach and Campus Programing Coordinator for the Center for East European and Russian/Eurasian Studies (CEERES), where she is currently serving as the Interim Associate Director.

About the series: CEERES, pronounced /ˈsirēz/, is the acronym for the University of Chicago Center for East European and Russian/Eurasian Studies. Together with the Seminary Co-op Bookstore, we are delighted to announce the launch of the CEERES of Voices Event Series, an author-centered series of readings and conversations on books from or about Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, Central Eurasia, and the Caucasus. The books being discussed are identified in a various ways: through publishers’ contacts with the bookstore or through faculty requests to CEERES to host the author.

Event Location: 
57th Street Books
1301 E 57th St.
Chicago, IL 60637