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‘Weight of a Piano’ by Chris Cander

January 2nd, 2019

WHO: Chris Cander


WHEN: Published by Knopf January 23, 2019

WHERE: The author lives in Houston.

WHY: “Cander brilliantly and convincingly expresses music and visual art in her writing, capturing both within a near-alien but surprisingly stunning landscape.
“In her elegiac and evocative novel, the author explores the legacy of loss, the intersections of art and music, and what happens when physical objects assume outsized symbolism. As a young girl in the Soviet Union in 1962, Katya admires her neighbor’s Blüthner piano; when he leaves it to her after his death, Katya pursues her musical passions and becomes obsessed with maintaining possession of the piano, even when given the opportunity to flee as a dissident.
“In California in 2012, Clara is a 26-year-old auto mechanic. Her boyfriend has just ended their relationship and demanded that she move out—along with the Blüthner that is her only remaining link to her dead parents. When a piano-moving accident leaves Clara with a broken hand and unable to work, she impulsively puts the piano for sale on Craigslist—and the response she receives sends her deep into the barren beauty of Death Valley and into a new relationship that may shed light on her family history, and on the cursed history of that piano.
“Reminiscent of Annie Proulx’s Accordion Crimes, Cander’s novel delves into the often unexplainable genesis of artistic inspiration and examines how family legacy—the physical objects people inherit, the genetic traits people carry on, and the generational lore people internalize—can both ignite imagination and limit its scope.”
–PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, a boxed and starred review

“This beautiful tale…is impossible to put down and impossible to forget.”
–Beth Andersen, in a starred review for BOOKLIST

“Cander grabs the reader in her opening pages.”
–KIRKUS, a starred review

Jacket photo

Media Resources:
About the book and author | Author tour | Read an excerpt | Download the jacket | Download the author photo

Knopf. 319 pages. $26.95
ISBN 978-0-525-65467-4

To interview the author, contact:
Katie Schoder | 212-572-2103 |