Music for Wartime, by Rebecca MakkaiRead about another entry on the list.
Makkai’s brilliant story collection is filled with tales of people for whom music is lifeblood. Sometimes Makkai takes this in a playful direction—in “Couple of Lovers on a Red Background,” a divorced woman who yearns to become a mother discovers that Johann Bach has appeared in her apartment. She sets out to seduce the father of 22, in the hopes of producing a prodigy. In other stories, music is a matter of life and death, as in “The Worst You’ll Ever Feel,” in which the son of a Romanian musician can intuit the story a musician is expressing through his music, and he learns from a Jewish violinist’s song about his suffering in Romania during World War II.