Strum – A story of guitars imbued with the spirits of their makers.

Our guest today, Nancy Young, started writing a short story. However, in time that short story morphed into a 380-page full-length novel. Music was a true inspiration for the concept of this book – this story of guitars. Strum is a beautiful meld of music, love, spirituality, ancestry, family and multiple languages.



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  • 2015 Library Journal Self-e Collections (Featured Selection)
  • 2014 USA Best Book Award (Finalist: Fiction:Literary)
  • 2014 Independent Publishers Book Award – Silver Medal (Best Reg’l Fiction, Canada-east)
  • 2014 New York, Hollywood, San Francisco and Great Northwest Book Festivals (Hon. Men. Fiction)
There are many ties that bind, and as many walls that divide. Music and deafness. Race and war. Love and unending time. Strum weaves together each element into a larger human tapestry of light and shadow, where a combination of fate and decision can define a family’s legacy.
Bernard, a deaf young woodworker, is drawn into an old growth forest in rural Québec. Summoned there by the spirits of his Iroquois and European great-grandparents, he witnesses a colossal 800-year-old cedar fall literally at his feet, and nearly loses his life salvaging a portion of the great tree to craft two guitars worthy of the music he hears.
Across two centuries and four continents, this tale of family, spirits, and music, paints upon the world’s large canvas an intimate story of enduring love and how the mysterious forces that divide us can also bring us together.


Nancy Young’s writing brings to life her global travel and multicultural perspective. Born in Taipei, and raised in Pasadena, California, she studied English, French and Chinese literature, international affairs and film-making at UC Berkeley, Columbia, Hawaii and Melbourne University. She has traveled to over 30 countries, and worked for over a decade as a cultural policy consultant in Australia, where her short story was published in the anthology Sweet Sisters and Other Stories.

She now lives in Southern California and supports literacy and education through her work at the Long Beach Public Library Foundation. Her book and author profile can be found at;;;

Always ready to open another book,

Drs. Rob + Janelle Alex, Ph.D.


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