Adrianne Geffel by David Hajdu

A poignant and hilarious oral history of a (fictitious) musical phenomenon.Adrianne Geffel become a genius. Praised as the “Geyser of Grand Street” and the “Queen of Bleak Chic,” she became a one-of-a-type artist, a pianist and composer with a rare neurological situation that enabled her to make tune that turned into nothing much less than pure, unmediated emotional expression. She and her sensibility are now absolutely integrated into the cultural lexicon; her music has been portrayed, represented, and appropriated without end in popular culture. But what do we without a doubt know approximately her? Despite her renown, Adrianne Geffel vanished from public life, and her whereabouts continue to be a mystery to this day.David Hajdu cuts through the noise to tell, for the first time, the full tale of Geffel’s existence and paintings, piecing it collectively thru the recollections of those who knew her, inspired her, and exploited her―her parents, teachers, exceptional friend, manager, critics, and lovers. Adrianne Geffel made tune so strange, so compelling, so utterly precise that it is absolutely not to be believed. Hajdu has us believing every observe of it in this slyly exciting work of fiction.A brilliantly humorous satire, with characters that soar off the page, Adrianne Geffel is a vividly twisted evocation of the New York City avant-garde of the 1970s and ’80s, and a strangely shifting portrait of a world both utterly acquainted and prefer none we’ve ever encountered.


Depending on one’s perspective, a piece of artwork deemed avant-garde is both a welcome innovation or a stinging repudiation of the fame quo. Few human beings are indifferent. And no avant-garde artist provoked more intense reactions than Adrianne Geffel, the fictional pianist on the center, or perhaps it’s better to mention the outer edge, of Adrianne Geffel, track critic David Hajdu’s debut novel.

The reason periphery is a tempting phrase right here is due to the fact the reader hardly ever hears at once from Geffel. Hajdu has based this smart work as an oral history, the unnamed writer of which has lengthy known approximately the “idiosyncratic American pianist and composer” active within the 1970s and ’80s, whose works stimulated a Sofia Coppola film and a George Saunders tale and who had a neurological circumstance that prompted “auditory hallucinations.” She “heard track nearly all the time.”

This e-book is an try to discern out what came about to the “Geyser on Grand Street,” as a SoHo newspaper dubbed her, who disappeared within the mid-Nineteen Eighties at age 26. A portrait of Geffel slowly emerges via interviews with those who knew her—from her parents, who fed baby Adrianne system in part because they could purchase it at a discount, to her teachers at Juilliard and a classmate who insinuated himself into Geffel’s lifestyles to latch directly to her fame.

The result is the literary equivalent of negative area in artwork: creating a image of a subject by way of focusing on surrounding details. Hajdu does this to enjoyable effect, even when some of the interviewees’ testimonies wander and slow the narrative momentum. He has amusing satirizing figures within the song world, amongst them teachers who think students need to get into prestigious faculties through connections because it’s more “convivial” that way, critics who use their interview with the writer to plug their books, and prominent guides that report on developments in track long after the tendencies have grow to be passé.

Adrianne Geffel is an uncommon treat: a clever parody that even detractors of the experimental are probable to welcome.


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