When Your Song Breaks the Silence

In this work of creative nonfiction Franz Schubert’s life and times come alive through his own eyes. He is shy and unsure of himself socially but confident of his musical gifts: the world will someday know what he has accomplished. In this poignant, moving story of the composer, we look into his mind and heart as he creates the music we know and love today. More

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About Natalie Jacobs

Natalie Jane Jacobs was born in 1972 and grew up in Ann Arbor, MI. She graduated Magna Cum Laude in English Literature from the University of Michigan in 1994. After working in Ann Arbor for several years, she moved to Portland, OR and began midwifery training. She completed most of her studies and then spent almost a year in an apprenticeship in Texas. After returning to Portland to complete her coursework, she developed viral myocarditis after a bout of influenza and died in January, 2008.

Natalie was a writer very early in her life; she explained that writing was absolutely vital for her. She wrote on many topics over the years but felt a particularly strong affinity to Franz Schubert. She seemed to feel that she and Schubert shared some personality traits - a certain reticence and unsureness - and even a slight physical resemblance. Of course, she couldn't know that there would be one more similarity. Both of them died of brief, catastrophic illnesses, only four years apart in age.

After Natalie passed away we gave her computer to a longtime friend of hers who subsequently told us of a large body of writing she had discovered on its hard disk. To our great surprise, Natalie had completed several short stories, a novella, and a novel about Franz Schubert. It had no title, so when we prepared it for publication we created one. "When your song breaks the silence" is a line from one of Schubert's hundreds of songs, "Der Einsame" or "The Solitary."

It may have been a combination of unsureness and a lack of persistence that prevented Natalie from sending her work out for publication. She did not consider herself a writer first and foremost, although she continued writing after midwifery became her main focus. It remains now for us, her family, to bring her work to the audience she never found herself.

A chapter from "When Your Song Breaks the Silence" entitled “An die Freude” was published in the December 2010 issue of "Battered Suitcase" magazine and can be read online at http://www.vagabondagepress.com/01201/V3I3SS17.html

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