“Can You Harmonize?”

Carol Ascher, The Flood (1987)
  • Lilian R. Furst


“ ‘C an you harmonize?’ ” nine-year-old Eva Hoffman’s father asks her as he hums a tune that he wants her to accompany on her violin (4). The Hoffman family—father, David, mother, Leah, Eva, and her six-year-old sister, Sarah—are enjoying the cool of an early summer evening in 1951 in a green pasture outside Topeka, Kansas, where they now live because the father is a psychiatrist at the Menninger Clinic. Eva is somewhat hesitant about her ability to harmonize, but she manages quite well. Whether the Hoffmans are able to harmonize metaphorically with Topeka is a much thornier question.


Black Child Classical Music Psychiatric Residency Negro Teacher Psychiatric Residency Program 
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© Lilian R. Furst 2005

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  • Lilian R. Furst

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