Background Music

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2017-10-10
  • Publisher: Fig Tree Books
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From the author of The Manicurist and Willing Spirits, a poignant and lyrical novel spanning four generations.

Even as a young child, Sonya Applebaum knows her family is different: Her parents are Holocaust survivors whose war experiences form a complex legacy for their two American-born children. On the surface, Sonya's world is conventional, filled with childhood play, daydreams, and sexual awakening. But always, the Holocaust lingers in the background, and the stories of the survivors and their families leave a profound mark on Sonya as she navigates her surroundings.

Describing herself and her peers as “old children”—those born to compensate for everything that was lost in Europe—Sonya struggles with the typical challenges of growing up juxtaposed against her unique obligations as a second-generation survivor. As Sonya reaches adulthood and eventually starts her own family, these obligations compel her to make difficult choices and to embrace her heritage without letting it consume her.

Set against the backdrop of the Cold War era and the turbulent Sixties, Background Music is a heartfelt coming-of-age novel about historical legacy and the bonds between parents and children.

Author Biography

Phyllis Schieber is the author of The Manicurist (BelleBooks/Belle Bridge Books), The Sinner's Guide to Confession (Berkley Books), and Willing Spirits (William Morrow) as well as the young adult novel, Strictly Personal (Fawcett Juniper). She holds a BA from Herbert H. Lehman College, an MA from New York University, and an MS from the Ferkauf Graduate School at Yeshiva University. She has worked as a high school English and special education teacher, as well as a learning disabilities specialist in several college programs. She currently lives in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.

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