Appassionata - Eva Hoffman

On the first night of her European tour, Isabel Merton, an internationally renowned pianist, meets Anzor Islikhanov, a liaison from the unrecognized Chechen government. Both are itinerants by necessity, and both are single-minded in their focus—she lives for her art, he for his country. Appassionata (Other Press, $14.95) is the story of their romance as it unfolds across the great European cities. It is also, in its philosophical exploration of music’s relevance in a world fragmented by politics and war, a novel of ideas. The most transcendent scenes take place in the concert hall; the author, Eva Hoffman, is a trained pianist, and every musical moment is breathtakingly authentic.