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Appassionataby Eva Hoffman
Synopses & Reviews
His eyes become remote again, his mouth set. He turns away from her, and picks up a jagged stone and throws it, with surprising force, down into the small ravine. A faint sound reaches them, mixed with the unvarying, gurgling water. She follows the movement of his torso as he turns effortlessly with the extension of the throwing arm. Line of beauty, she thinks, line of grace. . . . The casual arc of the throwing arm seems to slow into a timelessness; and suddenly, as if in concert with the elongated curve, she feels a surge of longing so sudden and powerful that she's afraid she’ll fall from it, that her chest will cave
in as from a blow.
Anzor's eyes return to her, still occluded, still looking into another distance; then they gather toward a more focused light. His face is for a moment fully unmasked, and he directs at her a stare that takes her in with a kind of encompassing ferocity. She stares back. He is very near and at a great distance. She knows nothing about this man, except the sudden power of his presence. A line of attraction and danger seems to vibrate between them in a tense ostinato. She feels she could travel a long way along that line, beyond the dark glow of his gaze, and into whatever lies within. For a moment, their eyes lock.
Then the moment is over, and they start walking back to the car. On the way down the winding road, they talk politely, as people who are getting acquainted talk.
From the Hardcover edition.
Feeling torn between her passion for music and the life of a traveling artist, Isabel meets a political exile and they are drawn to each other both by their differences and their seemingly parallel passions.
Selected as one of Oprah.com’s 20 Tantalizing Beach Reads
Selected as a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice
Isabel Merton is a renowned concert pianist, whose performances aremarked bya rareresponsiveness to the complexities of her art,and its intensities of feeling.At the height of her career, she feels increasingly torn between the compellingmusical realmshe deeply inhabits, and her fragmented itinerant artist’s life, with its frequent flights, anonymous hotels, and brief, arbitrary encounters. Away from her New York home on a European tour, Isabel meets a political exile from a war-torn country, a mandriven by a ranklingsense of injustice and a powerful desire tovindicatehis cause and avenge hispeople.As their paths cross in several cities, they are drawn to each other both by their differences and their seemingly parallel passions–until a menacing incident throws her into a creative crisis, and forces herto reevaluatehis actions,and her ownmotives.In this story of contemporary love and conflict,Hoffman illuminates the currents and undercurrents of our time, assheexplores the luminous and dark faces of romanticism, and those perennial human yearnings, frustrations, and moral choices that canlead to destructiveness, or the richest art.
About the Author
Eva Hoffman was born in Krakow, Poland, and emigrated to America in her teens. She is the author of Lost in Translation, Exit Into History, Shtetl, The Secret, and After Such Knowledge, and the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Whiting Award, and an award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. She lives in London.
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