The Eerie, Dreamlike Piano Melodies Behind An Yu’s Latest Novel
The Hong Kong–based writer’s novel “Ghost Music” largely features intricate, nocturnal compositions from the likes of Chopin, Liszt, and Debussy.
By Emily Jiang
January 23, 2023
6 minute read
An Yu’s latest novel, Ghost Music (Grove Atlantic), tells the story of Song Yan, a former concert pianist whose domestic life starts to cave in when her husband refuses her pleas to have a child. Beginning with unsolicited parcels of mushrooms arriving at her door, Song Yan’s world devolves into the phantasmagorical as she is slowly led to the discovery of a long-vanished musician, the once world-famous pianist Bai Yu. Throughout the story, eerie, dream-like piano melodies guide the reader between the real and surreal, and between Song Yan’s conscious and subconscious.
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