Pieces of Music

Random House: Auckland, 1994

To tell a story is to set out on a journey.  Narrative is grounded in the journeys we embark upon every day, going out into the world to work or forage, returning at evening to a home, a hearth, a bar, to share food and drink and tell each other stories about our day’s experiences.  Our sleep in conditional upon the resolutions we have reached.

Is a person’s life a seamless whole, a single story?  Or do we lead several lives at once – one experienced by ourselves or in our imaginations, others by those around us?  When one considers all the experiences and encounters that shape our lives, is there any one constant, essential self that can be taken as the measure of who we truly are?  Michael Jackson pursues these questions in a series of loosely connected, autobiographical fictions, set variously in France, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, the Congo, and Sierra Leone.  Pieces of Music was awarded the 1995 Buckland Memorial Literary Prize.

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