| Scottish Novelist |
with Musical Accompaniment
Musicians of Ma'alwyck
March 15, 2004
4:15 p.m. Seminar
Standish Room, New Library
UAlbany Uptown Campus
8:00 p.m. Reading
NY State Museum
Cultural Education Center
Albany, New York
Scottish novelist Janice Galloway is the author of Clara (2002, U.S. publication date February 2004), a widely praised novel about Clara Schumann, composer, pianist, and wife of Robert Schumann.
"contains some of the greatest words ever written on thwarted love since ‘Romeo and Juliet.’" - The London Times
The novel presents Clara Schumann’s childhood under the shadow of a devoted but domineering father; her forbidden love affair with her father’s protégé, Robert Schumann; her struggle to balance the demands of daughterhood, motherhood and marriage with her pursuit of art; and her personal and artistic clashes with her brilliant, mentally ill husband. The book received the 2003 Scottish Book of the Year Award of the Saltire Society, Scotland’s principal cultural organization."A powerful portrait of two soulmates caught up in the white heat of creation." - Boston Herald
Galloway’s evening presentation will be interspersed with performances of Clara Schumann’s work by The Musicians of Ma’alwyck, an upstate New York chamber group known for crafting musical programs to complement historical exhibitions and events. Musicians includes violinist Ann-Marie Barker Schwartz, soprano Gene Marie Callahan Kern, cellist Petia Kassarova, with guest pianist Findlay Cockrell. The musical selections will include Clara Schumann's Trio for piano, violin and cello, Romance for violin and piano, and Robeort Schumann's Liederkreis, Op. 39, and selection from Carnaval and the Fantasie in F minor.The Musicians of Ma’alwyck have been heard on National Public Radio, and performed recently in Atlanta in celebration of Norman Lear’s acquisition of the last private copy of the Declaration of Independence.
Janice Galloway’s fiction is famous in her native country for an emphasis on sensuality, the female perspective, and the oppression of women. Her debut novel, The Trick Is To Keep Breathing (1989), is an account of one woman’s descent into insanity. By turns painful and humorous, the novel makes innovative and jarring use of typography, with sudden news headlines, font changes, broken sentences, floating words, and deliberate misspellings.The book received the Scottish Arts Council Book Award and was named Book of the Year by MIND, the leading mental health charity in England and Wales.
"From brilliant title to closing injunction, [the novel] hums with intelligence, clarity, wit; and its heroine’s struggle for order and meaning seduces our minds, exposes how close all of us are to insanity." - Harriett Gilbert, The Listener (UK)
Galloway’s second novel is Foreign Parts (1995), a clever, quirky, and experimental tale of two Scottish social workers, Cassie and Rona, vacationing in France. Foreign Parts received the McVitie’s Prize for Scottish Writer of the Year as well as the E. M. Forster Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
"funny, rich and quite brilliantly observed. . . . The insight into female friendship in the book is unsurpassed in recent literature." - The Scotsman
Galloway’s short story collections include Blood (1991) and Where You Find It (1996, U.S. publication date, 2002). Galloway is also the librettist of two concert operas, Clara (1994) and Monster (1996), and of a song cycle adaptation of The Trick is to Keep Breathing (entitled Five Card Trick, 1994). She serves as a music critic for the "Glasgow Herald" and contributes frequently to other British publications.
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