Ghost Music (Hardcover)

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Ghost Music By An Yu Cover Image
By An Yu
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Staff Reviews

"Melodic story of a Chinese wife who spends her days teaching piano and doting on her workaholic husband. She wants children; her husband does not. This gets harder when her mother-in-law moves in, who wants grandchildren. We follow Song Yan along as she navigates adulthood while being expected to be the perfect housewife. She soon spirals into imagining a talking mushroom while unable to escape a locked room. This may be because of the mysterious packages of mushrooms they've been receiving, or this may be from something deeper within her, struggling to get out of a life prescribed to her by old traditions."--Reviewed by Sallie


From the author of the "original and electric" Braised Pork (Time), An Yu's enchanting and contemplative novel of music and mushrooms follows a former concert pianist searching for the truth about a vanished musicianFor three years, Song Yan has filled the emptiness of her Beijing apartment with the tentative notes of her young piano students. She gave up on her own career as a concert pianist many years ago, but her husband Bowen, an executive at a car company, has long rebuffed her pleas to have a child. He resists even when his mother arrives from the southwestern Chinese region of Yunnan and begins her own campaign for a grandchild. As tension in the household rises, it becomes harder for Song Yan to keep her usual placid demeanor, especially since she is troubled by dreams of a doorless room she can't escape, populated only by a strange orange mushroom.When a parcel of mushrooms native to her mother-in-law's province is delivered seemingly by mistake, Song Yan sees an opportunity to bond with her, and as the packages continue to arrive every week, the women stir-fry and grill the mushrooms, adding them to soups and noodles. When a letter arrives in the mail from the sender of the mushrooms, Song Yan's world begins to tilt further into the surreal. Summoned to an uncanny, seemingly ageless house hidden in a hutong that sits in the middle of the congested city, she finds Bai Yu, a once world-famous pianist who disappeared ten years ago.A gorgeous and atmospheric novel of art and expression, grief and survival, memory and self-discovery, Ghost Music animates contemporary Beijing through the eyes of a lonely yet hopeful young woman and gives vivid color and texture to the promise of new beginnings.

About the Author

AN YU is the author of Braised Pork. She was born and raised in Beijing and left at the age of eighteen to study in New York City. A graduate of the NYU MFA in Creative Writing, she writes her fiction in English and lives in Hong Kong.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780802159625
ISBN-10: 0802159621
Publisher: Grove Press
Publication Date: January 10th, 2023
Pages: 240
Language: English