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An exceptional debut novel that explores the stifled, unspoken feelings of a music teacher and his former student, and the damage done by their years of silence
Hermin, a composer and instructor, leads a secluded life near the Bourbonnais Mountains in France, composing an homage to Schubert. On a bitter January night, this studious peace is broken when his former pupil, Lenny, a piano prodigy, mysteriously knocks at his door. The two men must confront the ghosts of their past, somewhere between
musical harmony, erotic tension, and revelation.
Wanderer, echoing Schubert's recurring theme, is a novel of rare delicacy, a twilight adagio, a Winterreise, and a subtle ode to German Romanticism.
About the Author
Sarah Léon was born in 1995 and studied literature and musicology at l'École Normale Supérieure in Paris. She won the 2012 Prix Clara for her novella, "Mon Alban."
John Cullen is the translator of many books from Spanish, French, German, and Italian, including Philippe Claudel's Brodeck, Juli Zeh's Decompression, Chantal Thomas's The Exchange of Princesses, and Kamel Daoud's The Meursault Investigation. He lives in upstate New York.
“Splendidly translated…an atmospheric, delicately wrought study of misunderstood emotion, heartbreaking yet incisive.” —Library Journal
“Léon perfectly measures out past and present to reach a satisfying and intimate crescendo.” —Booklist
“[A] staggering debut…Léon’s innovative blending of events across time and her delicate emotional precision make for a bewitching, immersive experience.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“[Wanderer] treats the relationship between the two men with a delicacy that is unexpectedly moving.” —Kirkus Reviews
“The German word Wanderer means ‘traveler.’ This romantic figure of the vagabond infuses this delicate and poetic story, which favors harsh winter nights.” —L’Express Styles
“This is a first novel as visual as it is musical, which reads in one go and leaves behind another beautiful melody: that of a new talent blossoming.” —Luxemburger Wort
“A story of reunion between musicians. A story of friendship between two men. A tribute to the great German Romanticism. All in a light, refined prose imbued with winter tones.” —La Montagne