E. Annie Proulx

Accordion Crimes

Publisher: Charles Scribner's Sons
Publication Date: 1996
Hardcover: 381 pages
Edition: First Edition

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First Edition Identification Points

The numeral 1 is present in the printing line on the copyright page. The price "$25.00" appears at the top of the front flap of the dust jacket.

From the Publisher

Accordion Crimes opens in 1890 in Sicily as an accordion maker completes his finest instrument - nineteen polished bone buttons, sleek lacquer - and dreams of owning a music store in America. He and his eleven-year-old son, carrying little more than the green accordion, voyage to the teeming, violent port of New Orleans. Within a year, the accordion maker is murdered by an anti-Italian lynching mob, but his instrument carries Proulx's story into another community of immigrants, the German Americans, founding a town in Iowa. Again, the accordion is witness to an astonishing array of tales as Beutle, Messermacher, Loats and their families make and lose fortunes in the new land. The little green accordion falls into the hands of various immigrants who carry it from Iowa to Texas, from Maine to Louisiana, looking for a decent life. Descendants of Mexicans, Africans, Poles, Germans, Norwegians, Irish, Basques and Franco-Canadians, they work their way into a harshly racist American culture at the cost of their identity, language and traditions. The music of the accordion is their last link with the past - voice for their fantasies, sorrows and exuberance - but it, too, is forced to change.