I’m always on the lookout for interesting reading material, so when I recently read a New Yorker review of Alexander Chee’s The Queen of the Night, my eyes got a bit wider. A novel that combines several of my passions – opera, history, jewelry, and fashion – sounded like exactly what I’d been seeking.
Not many contemporary writers set their works in the world of classical music, so the fact that Mr. Chee decided to make Lilliet Berne, his protagonist, an opera singer rather than an actress intrigued me. I’ve started reading the novel and discovered that his knowledge of music goes far beyond merely dropping a composer’s name now and then. Curious, I did a bit of internet sleuthing, and guess what I discovered?
So far, I’ve discovered one major error in Mr. Chee’s description of vintage fashion – nerd alert on my part, yes, but this is a big deal given that the item in question figures very prominently in the narrative. That said, so far, I’m enjoying the book and will post a full review once I finish reading it.
Meantime, here’s Joan Accocella’s New Yorker review, which alerted me to the book’s existence and inspired me to download it that very same day:19th century, Alexander Chee, composers, Countess de Castiglione, history, Joan Accocella, Julia Felsenthal, opera, The New Yorker, The Queen of the Night, Vogue