The Piano Tuner
By Daniel Mason
(Knopf, Hardcover, 9780375414657, 336pp.)
Publication Date: September 17, 2002
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An extraordinary first novel that tells the story of a British piano tuner sent deep into Burma in the nineteenth century.
In October 1886, Edgar Drake receives a strange request from the British War Office: he must leave his wife and his quiet life in London to travel to the jungles of Burma, where a rare Erard grand piano is in need of repair. The piano belongs to an army surgeon-major whose unorthodox peacemaking methods—poetry, medicine, and now music—have brought a tentative quiet to the southern Shan States but have elicited questions from his superiors.
On his journey through Europe, the Red Sea, India, and into Burma, Edgar meets soldiers, mystics, bandits, and tale-spinners, as well as an enchanting woman as elusive as the surgeon-major. And at the doctor’s fort on a remote Burmese river, Edgar encounters a world more mysterious and dangerous than he ever could have imagined.
Sensuous, lyrical, rich with passion and adventure, this is a hypnotic tale of myth, romance, and self-discovery: an unforgettable novel.
Daniel Mason received his bachelor's degree in biology from Harvard in 1998 and spent a year studying malaria on the Thai and Myanmar border, where much of The Piano Tuner was written. He is currently a medical student at the University of California, San Francisco.