The Upright Piano Player
By David Abbott
(Anchor, Paperback, 9780307743329, 272pp.)
Publication Date: June 5, 2012
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Henry Cage seems to have it all: a successful career, money, a beautiful home, and a reputation for being a just and principled man. But public virtues can conceal private failings, and as Henry faces retirement, his well-ordered life begins to unravel. His ex-wife is ill, his relationship with his son is strained to the point of estrangement, and on the eve of the new millennium he is the victim of a random violent act which soon escalates into a prolonged and mysterious harassment. Who is doing this? And why?
Full of exceptional grace and emotional power, The Upright Piano Player is a wise and acutely observed novel about the myriad ways in which life tests us—no matter how carefully we have constructed our own little fortresses.
DAVID ABBOTT worked for forty years in the advertising industry as a copywriter and creative director. He was a founding partner of Abbott Mead Vickers, Britain’s largest advertising agency. This is his first novel, and he is at work on his second.
“[A] gripping novel, a reminder of how little control we have over our lives.” —Los Angeles Times
“Wise and moving. . . . An accomplished novel of quiet depths and resonant shadows.” —John Burnham Schwartz, author of The Commoner
“Stirring. . . . Abbott has created a memorable book, and readers will ache along with the principal characters.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“Gracefully constructed and wholly consuming.” —Associated Press
“Elegant, rich, and gratifying.” —The Independent (London)
“The menace simmering beneath the surface of [The Upright Piano Player’s] prose is compelling.” —Daily Mail
“A powerful and well-written portrayal of loss and grieving.” —Library Journal (starred review)
“A concise, haunting work, a short, brilliantly observed novel. . . . Fluid and elegiac, filled with somber, serious tones, the author’s writing is reminiscent of the great Ian McEwan.” —Curled Up With a Good Book
“Masterful.” —The Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
“A beautifully constructed debut.” —The Guardian (London)
More than 150 writers from 40 events will gather in New York City for PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, April 28 – May 4, 2014.
For its 10th anniversary, the festival celebrates those who have dared to stand ‘on the edge,’ risking their careers, and sometimes their lives, to speak out for their art and beliefs. Join us for a wide range of events, including debates, one-on-one conversations, participatory workshops and performances in venues throughout the city. Use the code PEN14 (use PEN2014 for events at The Public Theater) and receive a 20 percent discount on most events. www.worldvoicesfestival.org