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Three Muses (Paperback)

Three Muses By Martha Anne Toll Cover Image
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1 on hand, as of Jun 17 8:35pm


Three Muses captivates the reader from the first page to the last.” —Paul Harding, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Tinkers and Enon

Three Muses is a love story that enthralls: a tale of Holocaust survival venturing through memory, trauma, and identity, while raising the curtain on the unforgiving discipline of ballet. In post-WWII New York, John Curtin suffers lasting damage from having been forced to sing for the concentration camp kommandant who murdered his family. John trains to be a psychiatrist, struggling to wrest his life from his terror of music and his past. Katya Symanova climbs the arduous path to Prima Ballerina of the New York State Ballet, becoming enmeshed in an abusive relationship with her choreographer, who makes Katya a star but controls her life. When John receives a ticket to attend a ballet featuring Katya Symanova, a spell is cast. As John and Katya follow circuitous paths to one another, fear and promise rise in equal measure. Song, Discipline, and Memory weave their way through love and loss, heartbreak and triumph.

About the Author

Martha Anne Toll’s reviews, essays, and short fiction regularly appear in NPR Books, The Washington Post, The Millions, and elsewhere. A passionate advocate for racial and social justice, Martha was the founding Executive Director of the Butler Family Fund. She lives with her husband, a climate activist, and their espresso machine just outside Washington, DC. They are the lucky parents of two daughters. Three Muses is Martha’s debut novel. Please visit her at www.marthannetoll.com and @marthaannetoll.

Praise For…

“Martha Anne Toll's Three Muses is so surprisingly soulful. The surprise doesn't lie in the existence of textured prose that explores dance, music, love and time in wholly different ways; it lies in how that textured prose actually creates a new time signature wholly dependent on practice and discipline. This is phenomenal writing. It just is.” —Kiese Makeba Laymon, bestselling author of Heavy, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America, and Long Division


“Martha Anne Toll’s three muses are those of song, discipline, and memory. In this beautiful, dark novel, she has choreographed the mysterious ways these forces push and pull and shape the lives of her characters – lives of terrible loss and precious if dismaying survival – through their dissonances, harmonies, deprivations and recoveries. A meditation on history, music, the catastrophic inheritances of the Holocaust, and the so common, painful hiddenness of hope itself, Three Muses captivates the reader from the first page to the last.” —Paul Harding, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Tinkers and Enon


“Three Muses is a tender, well-told story about how tragedies reverberate through the years and shape the course of two intersecting lives. This is a wonderful meditation on trauma and loss—and a love story in its own right.”—Lydia Kiesling, author of The Golden State and former Editor (now Contributing Editor) at The Millions


“Three Muses is a hauntingly beautiful testament to the power of art and love. With exquisite craft, Toll writes about dance and music in sentences that sing. She is a writer to watch.” —Lara Prescott, New York Times bestselling author of The Secrets We Kept

“A grand generosity of spirit pervades this book, which weaves together threads of love, loss, memory and art. Martha Anne Toll’s Three Muses takes art seriously, delves deeply into the discipline and sacrifice it requires, and connects its transcendent power to the messy, quotidian world not just of artist and performers, but the audience as well… This is the rare book that looks behind the curtain with genuine empathy, insight and love.” —Philip Kennicott, Pulitzer Prize winning art and architecture critic for The Washington Post, and author of Counterpoint: A Memoir of Bach and Mourning

“Delving deep into the heart of the human experience, Toll has given us a capacious and deeply felt novel about trauma and ambition, art, passion, and the vagaries of memory. Three Muses is a love story that isn't afraid to contend with difficult questions, a wise and compassionate meditation on beauty, loss, and the many invisible lives we might have lived.” —Michael David Lukas, author and winner of the National Jewish Book Award for the Last Watchman of Old Cairo


“Martha Anne Toll’s Three Muses follows two characters for whom, as children on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean, art functions as both a means to salvation, and as a burden that can come close to feeling like a curse. Beautifully written, and vivid with detail and insight, this novel is brimming with moments of kindness and light that thread through tapestries of loss and pain.” —Moriel Rothman-Zecher, author of Sadness is a White Bird, Finalist, National Jewish Book Award and Dayton Literary Peace Prize

"Martha Anne Toll’s debut novel, Three Muses, is a choreographed ballet narrative about the life journey of two traumatized people who discover emotional healing when they fall in love."--Kate Padilla

"An affecting chamber piece with plenty to say about art, trauma, and healing." —Kirkus Reviews Starred Review

“...the prose is sparse and brisk… a conventional love story [that] takes an unexpected turn..” —Foreword Reviews 

Product Details
ISBN: 9781646032563
ISBN-10: 164603256X
Publisher: Regal House Publishing
Publication Date: September 20th, 2022
Pages: 256
Language: English

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