Naive and talented, Hana Knight is a young classical pianist who has been gifted with a musical upbringing, a magnificent Steinway piano, a place at Juilliard and a patron who arranges everything, from her Manhattan apartment to her first European tour.In the midst of her meteoric career, Hana becomes increasingly aware of an unusual follower, a homeless woman named Jacqueline who sells handmade mittens and collects empties to buy tickets to Hana's concerts. She manages to track down the evasive woman and they develop a tenuous friendship. But as Hana learns more about Jacqueline, the wall she has built between her past life and her new one begins to crumble. As the novel builds in tension, a potentially career-ending encounter forces Hana to finally face the dark truth behind her privileged upbringing.Simultaneously lyrical and gripping, and told with clear and powerful prose,The Performanceis eloquent in its depiction of the strikingly different worlds that coexist within a single city: the wealthy circles of Manhattan's cultural elite, and the stark existence of those who struggle to survive from day to day.
Novelist Ann Eriksson, acclaimed for her deft explorations of social issues, takes on the theme of inequality by contrasting the worlds of elite classical piano and urban homelessness.