Accordion Eulogies

A Memoir of Music, Migration, and Mexico

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Pub Date May 28 2024 | Archive Date Apr 26 2024

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Description

Searching, propulsive, and deeply spiritual, Accordion Eulogies is an odyssey to repair a severed family lineage, told through the surprising history of a musical instrument

Growing up in Yakima, Washington, Noé Álvarez never knew his grandfather. Stories swirled around this mythologized, larger-than-life figure: That he had abandoned his family, and had possibly done something awful that put a curse on his descendants. About his grandfather, young Noé was sure of only one thing: That he had played the accordion. Now an adult, reckoning with the legacy of silence surrounding his family’s migration from Mexico, Álvarez resolves both to take up the instrument and to journey into Mexico to discover the grandfather he never knew.

Álvarez travels across the US with his accordion, meeting makers and players in cities that range from San Antonio to Boston. He uncovers the story of an instrument that’s been central to classic American genres, but also played a critical role in indigenous Mexican history. Like the accordion itself, Álvarez feels trapped between his roots in Mexico and the U.S. As he tries to make sense of his place in the world—as a father, a son, a musician—he gets closer to uncovering the mystery of his origins.
Searching, propulsive, and deeply spiritual, Accordion Eulogies is an odyssey to repair a severed family lineage, told through the surprising history of a musical instrument

Growing up in Yakima...

Advance Praise

ADVANCE PRAISE FOR ACCORDION EULOGIES

A LitHub Most Anticipated Title


Accordion Eulogies is an unforgettable journey through a hardscrabble family history of migration, loss, and longing. Álvarez teaches himself to play the accordion and visits the time-worn workshops of the last accordion-makers of the world, chasing the ghost of his grandfather along the way. In beautiful, reflective prose and a careful eye for what the world passes over, Álvarez preserves stories—including his own family's—that might otherwise fade to dust.” 

—Emily Scott Robinson


Accordion Eulogies unfolds like the truest corridos: with an invitation into a story of restless hearts and searching spirits, of strength forged by suffering, of ancestral specters that refuse to reveal their true shape. Noé Álvarez has married sacred music history with a personal quest of adventure and loss, and the result is a memoir of deep connection: with the past, a homeland, the self, and ultimately the reader. I’m grateful to have spent time with the melody Álvarez conjured.” 

—Katie Gutierrez, bestselling author of More Than You’ll Ever Know

ADVANCE PRAISE FOR ACCORDION EULOGIES

A LitHub Most Anticipated Title


Accordion Eulogies is an unforgettable journey through a hardscrabble family history of migration, loss, and longing. Álvarez...


Available Editions

EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9781646220892
PRICE $26.00 (USD)
PAGES 208

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