book cover of Music of the Ghosts

Music of the Ghosts

(2017)
A novel by

 
 
An astonishing and powerful new novel from PEN/Hemingway finalist Vaddey Ratner.

Leaving the safety of America, Teera returns to Cambodia for the first time since her harrowing escape as a child refugee. She carries a letter from a man who mysteriously signs himself as "the Old Musician" and claims to have known her father in the Khmer Rouge prison where he disappeared 25 years ago.

In Phnom Penh, Teera finds a society still in turmoil, where perpetrators and survivors of unfathomable violence live side by side, striving to mend their still beloved country. She meets a young doctor who begins to open her heart, immerses herself in long-buried memories, and prepares to learn her father's fate.

Meanwhile, the Old Musician, who earns his modest keep playing ceremonial music at a temple, awaits Teera's visit with great trepidation. He will have to confess the bonds he shared with her parents, the passion with which they all embraced the Khmer Rouge's illusory promise of a democratic society, and the truth about her father's end.

A love story for things lost and things restored, a lyrical hymn to the power of forgiveness, Music of the Ghosts is an unforgettable journey through the embattled geography of the heart and its hidden chambers where love can be reborn.

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"Few atrocities compare with the almost unimaginable devastation brought to Cambodia by Pol Pot. But Vaddey Ratner, a survivor of the Khmer Rouge regime, has not only created here an unforgettable vision of revolution and genocide, but also a moving portrayal of lives interwoven by loss, Buddhist wisdom and, most important of all, redemption. Music of the Ghosts is a powerful performance." - Charles Johnson

"Music of the Ghosts is a moving and often gripping exploration of Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge regime and its aftermath. Ratner relentlessly shows the devastating impact of traumatic history on families and the nation, but leaves us with a carefully measured hope for insight and renewal." - Viet Thanh Nguyen

"Vaddey Ratner’s new novel, Music of the Ghosts, is an extraordinary achievement. It is deeply haunting in its evocation of place, profound in the directness with which it confronts age old questions of guilt, regret, and loss, and staggeringly beautiful in its masterful lyricism. A book like this doesn’t come around very often. I hope everyone will read it." - Kevin Powers

"A powerful examination of the burdens of survival. Ratner writes with precision and lyricism about lives damaged in one of the darkest episodes in history. A timely, redemptive work." - Tatjana Soli

"Music of the Ghosts is a novel of extraordinary humanity in the face of unforgivable culpability. Here, acts of friendship transform into acts of rebellion, and storytelling reveals not only the past, but this moment, when reconciliation and forgiveness are so desperately needed. Vaddey Ratner speaks to the choices confronting all of us, and she does so with compassion, forewarning and courageous wisdom." - Madeleine Thien


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Used availability for Vaddey Ratner's Music of the Ghosts

Hardback Editions

August 2017 : USA Hardback
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Title: Music of the Ghosts (Thorndike Press Large Print Historical Fiction)
Author(s): Vaddey Ratner
ISBN: 1-4328-4171-8 / 978-1-4328-4171-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: Thorndike Press Large Print
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


April 2017 : USA Hardback
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Title: Music of the Ghosts: A Novel
Author(s): Vaddey Ratner
ISBN: 1-4767-9578-9 / 978-1-4767-9578-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: Touchstone
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

April 2018 : USA Paperback
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Title: Music of the Ghosts: A Novel
Author(s): Vaddey Ratner
ISBN: 1-4767-9579-7 / 978-1-4767-9579-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Atria Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Audio Editions

April 2017 : USA Audio edition
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Title: Music of the Ghosts
Author(s): Vaddey Ratner
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Availability: Amazon   


April 2017 : Canada Audio edition
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Title: Music of the Ghosts
Author(s): Vaddey Ratner
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Availability: Amazon CA   


April 2017 : UK Audio edition
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Title: Music of the Ghosts
Author(s): Vaddey Ratner
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Availability: Amazon UK   


Kindle Editions

April 2017 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
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Title: Music of the Ghosts: A Novel
Author(s): Vaddey Ratner
Publisher: Atria Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   


April 2017 : UK Kindle edition
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Title: Music of the Ghosts: A Novel
Author(s): Vaddey Ratner
Publisher: Atria Books
Availability: Amazon UK