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"The Fisher King" is the story of two orphans. Sonny is a young boy, a budding artist, whose parents have disappeared and grandparents have died. The other orphan, Hattie, was a friend of Sonny's grandparents and is now taking care of Sonny. In 1949, Sonny's grandparents had moved to Paris, fleeing the segregation of the United States. Sonny's grandfather and namesake, Sonny-Rett, was an accomplished jazz pianist who hoped to have a better chance as a musician in Europe. He and his wife, Cherisse, were soon joined by their loyal friend Hattie. After the couple's death, Hattie becomes the "father mothersisterbrother" of their grandson when his young mother abandons him. Despite impoverishment, Hattie stubbornly remains in Paris and roots herself in exile. Eventually, Sonny's wealthy great-uncle Edgar tracks them down and beseeches them to come back for a memorial concert in honor of Sonny-Rett. The story begins when Hattie and Sonny return to the United States.