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Sonata Mulattica


Rita Dove (Author, University of Virginia)

Overview | Formats

Detailing the volatile relationship between the black violinist George Bridgetower and Beethoven, this is a "masterful collection" (Los Angeles Times).

The son of a white woman and an “African Prince,” George Polgreen Bridgetower (1780–1860) travels to Vienna to meet “bad-boy” genius Ludwig van Beethoven. The great composer’s subsequent sonata is originally dedicated to the young mulatto, but George, exuberant with acclaim, offends Beethoven over a woman. From this crucial encounter evolves a grandiose yet melancholy poetic tale. A New Yorker's A Year's Reading; Booklist Editors Choice Award.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • September 2010
  • ISBN 978-0-393-33893-5
  • 5.6 × 8.3 in / 231 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

Other Formats

  1. Book CoverSonata Mulattica: Poems



Endorsements & Reviews

“A virtuosic treatment of a virtuoso's life . . . stuffed with historical and musical arcana.” — The New Yorker

“Dove's richly imagined book has the sweep and vivid characters of a novel, but it's written with a poet's economy, an eye for the exact detail.” — Mark Doty, O, The Oprah Magazine

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