by Erin Eileen Almond
Witches’ Dance is a symphony of genius and insanity, love and danger. It is a novel about the secrets we keep and the dream of acceptance. Intricate and beautifully complex.
—Ramona Ausubel, author of Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty and Awayland
FIC043000 FICTION / Coming of Age
FIC045000 FICTION / Family Life / General
FIC019000 FICTION / Literary
Print ISBN: 978-1-941360-29-3
Digital ISBN: 978-1-941360-30-9
464 Pages • $18.00 Paperback • $4.99 EPUB
Publication Date: October 22, 2019
Publicity Contact: Feliza Casano
Hilda Greer's love affair with the violin began at the age of seven, when she attended a performance by the virtuoso Phillip Manns. She believed him with a child’s faith when he declared himself the reincarnation of Niccolò Paganini and then dashed from the stage, his mind in ruins.
Nearly a decade after his breakdown, Phillip Manns is a recluse, insulated against the temptations of music—until a former colleague begs him to teach at a nearby conservatory. It’s there that he meets Hilda Greer, who’s come to audition and plays the piece that started it all: Paganini’s Le Streghe, or Witches’ Dance.
Entranced by the character of Hilda’s playing and unable to resist the siren call of music, Phillip takes Hilda under his wing. The two start a witches’ dance of their own, a whirlwind that sweeps them toward the International Paganini Competition. When their curtain falls, one will bask in the music world’s acclaim—and the other’s world will be shattered completely.
About the Author
Erin Almond is a novelist, short story writer, essayist and reviewer. Her work has been published in The Boston Globe, Colorado Review, Normal School, Small Spiral Notebook, and on Cognoscenti.com and The Rumpus.net. She is a graduate of the UC-Irvine MFA program and Wesleyan University, and a recipient of a St. Botolph Foundation Emerging Artists Grant. Erin lives outside Boston with her husband, Steve, and their three children.
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Praise for Witches’ Dance
At once bold and evocative, Witches’ Dance is a captivating debut. Erin Eileen Almond tells the story of the spirited young musician Hilda and her brilliant, dangerous mentor Phillip Manns in swift prose that dances with the energy of Paganini’s violin.
—Barbara Barrow, author of The Quelling
Erin Almond’s moving tale of brilliance and madness illuminates the power of music and the challenges of nurturing genius. A love story, really—love for another being and for music, the two so interwoven they are almost fatally inseparable. Witches' Dance is mesmerizing, with characters both flawed and sympathetic who captivate to carry us toward a dramatic conclusion.
—Daphne Kalotay, award-winning author of Sight Reading and Blue Hours
Erin Eileen Almond's virtuosic debut transports you into the rarefied world of classical music, where two violinists—one trying to reignite his career, the other just realizing the extent of her power—discover the price they must pay to make their art. A beautiful and engrossing tale of madness, magic, and music.
—Whitney Scharer, author of The Age of Light
Witches’ Dance elegantly explores the desire for immortality through art, the desire to lose one’s body to music, to lose one’s private miseries to something greater. It’s a matryoshka doll of identities—psychological, supernatural—secret mothers, hidden wolves—and it’s a treat to travel alongside these enchanting characters as they reveal yet another power, yet another vulnerability in their striving for success, love, triumph, oblivion.
—Anca L. Szilágyi, author of Daughters of the Air
A truly bewitching novel about music, potential madness, and that most powerful force of all: first love. Erin Almond's Witches' Dance will mesmerize you—and signifies the beginning of a long and powerful career.
—Jenna Blum, NYT bestselling author of Those Who Save Us and The Lost Family