08/40: The Art of Hearing Heartbeats (by Jan-Philipp Sendker)


By Jan-Philipp Sendker

translated by Kevin Wiliarty

Published January 2012 by Other Press

WHO: Julia Win, a 28-year New Yorker, is bewildered by her father’s disappearance on the day after her law school graduation. Her mother, in clearing out the detritus of her long marriage, gives Julia a letter that had been written by her husband to another woman in Burma.

WHAT: Julia decides to track down the woman from the letter in the hopes of discovering where her father has disappeared to and in reuniting with him, maybe get some answers as to his actions.

WHERE: Julia travels from her upper middle-class life in NYC to the rural landscape of Kalaw, a remote region in Myamar (Burma.) At a tea shop that would be more accurately described as a shack to Westerners, she encounters a stranger who appears to have been waiting for her.

WHEN: The stranger tells a story over the course of Julia’s visit that transports Julia from the present day to her father’s time…

WHY: The stranger tells her the story of her father and this other woman so that Julia can see beyond Tim Win as her father to the real Tim Win. 

HOW: Perhaps in understanding who her father was, she can appreciate more the actions that he has taken since he left Burma.

+ This is a beautiful tale of love and loss, of timelessness and true fidelity. Heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time, its operatic in its intensity and emotion.

OTHER: I bought a paperback edition of The Art of Hearing Heartbeats (by Jan-Philipp Sendker) from AMZN.  I receive no monies, goods or services in exchange for reviewing the product and/or mentioning any of the persons or companies that are or may be implied in this post. 

I have challenged myself to read forty books this summer. Many books will be backlist titles as I’m trying to clear the stacks; but I have no doubt that new releases will make their way in too! 😉


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