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Arnold Zable - Writer & Storyteller
Arnold Zable is an award winning writer, novelist, storyteller and human rights advocate situated in Melbourne, Australia.

Books » Violin Lessons

Violin Lessons

A young boy plays the violin for his mother in Melbourne. Nina Simone sings 'Pirate Jenny' in a bar in Berlin. A fisherman plays a flute on the Mekong. And the strains of Paganini resonate in the forests of eastern Poland. From the cabarets and houseboats of 1940s Baghdad, to the streets of war-torn Saigon, and the canals and alleys of present-day Venice, music weaves through each of these spellbinding true stories.

These are tales of hardship, of yearning and of celebration. Tales that span the globe, and bring us back to Melbourne to the extraordinary story of Amal, her flight from Iraq, her fears boarding the unseaworthy boat Australians would come to know as SIEV X, her night spent clinging to a corpse alone in the sea, and her desire to have her story told. 

'Maybe this is why I am alive,' Amal says, 'to tell the story of the people who sank in the ocean.' 

Critical Acclaim & Reviews

"Arnold Zable is a true storyteller: you hear his stories, not only in your head, but also in your soul."
Good Reading 

"A writer who turns the unnoticed and the overlooked into something fine and lustrous."
Courier-Mail 

"Zable elevates history into near-mythical tales of wonder."
Australian