Naive and talented, Hana Knight is a young classical pianist who has been gifted with a musical upbringing, a magnificent Steinway piano, a place at Juilliard and a patron who arranges everything, from her Manhattan apartment to her first European tour.
In the midst of her meteoric career, Hana becomes increasingly aware of an unusual follower, a homeless woman named Jacqueline who sells handmade mittens and collects bottles in order to buy tickets to Hana’s concerts.
When Hana manages to track down the evasive woman, they develop a tenuous friendship. But as Hana learns more about Jacqueline, the wall she has built between her past life and her new one begins to crumble. As the novel builds in tension, a potentially career-ending encounter forces Hana to finally face the dark truth behind her privileged upbringing.
Advance praise for The Performance:
Ann Eriksson is known for tackling difficult social issues within her writing. Her latest novel, The Performance, is no exception. Eriksson has chosen the privileged world of a concert pianist to illustrate the deep social and economic disparity between the wealthy and those forced through circumstance to live on the street. In The Performance, Eriksson makes us take a hard look at homelessness and forces us to ask uneasy questions of ourselves. Yet she does so within a compelling story and writes of both poverty and music -- and the unexpected moments where they intersect -- in confident, lyrical prose. The Performance is a masterful novel from a gifted writer.
-Gail Anderson-Dargatz, author of the Giller Prize short-listed books The Cure for Death by Lightning and A Recipe for Bees, and her new novel The Spawning Grounds.