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The Time of Our Singing  By  cover art

The Time of Our Singing

By: Richard Powers
Narrated by: Peter Jay Fernandez
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Publisher's Summary

A magnificent, multifaceted novel about a supremely gifted - and divided - family, set against the backdrop of postwar America

On Easter day, 1939, at Marian Anderson's epochal concert on the Washington Mall, David Strom, a German Jewish emigre scientist, meets Delia Daley, a young Philadelphia Negro studying to be a singer. Their mutual love of music draws them together, and - against all odds and better judgment - they marry. They vow to raise their children beyond time, beyond identity, steeped in song. But their three children must survive America's brutal here and now. 

Jonah, Joseph, and Ruth grow up during the Civil Rights era, come of age in the violent 1960s, and live out adulthood in the racially retrenched late century. Jonah, the eldest, "whose voice could make heads of state repent", follows a life in his parents' beloved classical music. Ruth, the youngest, chooses a militant activism and repudiates the white culture her brother represents. Joseph, the middle child and the narrator of this generational tale, struggles to remain connected to them both. 

The Time of Our Singing is a story of self-invention, allegiance, race, cultural ownership, the compromised power of music, and the tangled loops of time that rewrite all belonging.

©2003 Richard Powers (P)2018 Recorded Books

What listeners say about The Time of Our Singing

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A truly life changing book

After reading The Overstory I began searching out Richard Powers books. All of his writing is deep, insightful and thought provoking. The Time of Our Singing will stay with me for the rest of my life.

5 people found this helpful

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Undigested Erudition

One hour into this book, I am going to return it. I thought the Overstory was magnificent (although the writing itself was uninteresting) in its mix of engaging story, real science, and lucid, frightful ecological warning. The Time of Our Singing is, to my taste, badly written with the author's prodigeous knowledge slathered around capriciously...as if he was constantly sweating to make an interesting point (and it's like that nearly every sentence). Tedious. I'm going to try another Powers book,maybe the Gold Bug.

4 people found this helpful

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Busyreader

Horrible
What a waste of a book. Voice artist had crap material to work with

2 people found this helpful

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Time loops with these words

Every moment of this book is worth the movement through time. Lift me up, and oh - the end. It’s like prayer and song.

1 person found this helpful

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History is painful!

Wow! What an amazing book. Richard Powers has such a gift of presenting factual truths through real and fictitious characters. I enjoyed The Overstory and now this fabulous book! American History isn’t always “pretty”, but it is our history.

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Stunning

I loved this! Powerful work on history, race, love, and time, all in one! The narrator hit all the accents and languages spot on, perfectly done.

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An unforgettable epic

The story is real. I’ve learned a lot about music and composers who are less familiar. It’s the best historical fiction I’ve ever read.

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A time odf singing makes great listening and read

This moving story of three generations of an inter-racial, fascinating family is also a history of America between 1940 and 2000, including richly rewarding detours into Marian Anderson's career and life and Emmitt Till's tragedy. As often with Richard Powers' powerful books real life is laced with a measure of magic. I recommend this reading experience highly.

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Narrator should look up how to pronounce musical terms and composers

It is wonderfully expansive story about music, family, and race with many historical references. I really got to know and love the characters. The narrator should be more informed with regard to music.

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USA, Race, historical fiction

I love this author. This was the second book of his I have listened to by him. I found them both to be important topics that may well be the death ofbthis country. I read a few reviews before listening. Every book I listen to about race and racism have abundant reviews by offended white people. I don't believe the most of them actually listened to this book.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-21-19

Incredible

The most beautiful, expertly crafted piece of literature I have ever encountered. Simply stunning! Powers’ is a genius!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Roslyn
  • 07-19-20

Musical

A long, complex and beautiful telling of the lives of two amazing young men. A great recount in historical contexts.