lidija perovic
2013 Lambda Literary Foundation Award Finalist
Incidental Music, a novel by Lydia Perovic
Incidental Music
A Novel by
Lydia Perović

Fall 2012
Inanna Publications


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       Can we try to live a good life and still pay our bills? What are the arts good for anyway, especially in times of unrest and scarcity? Does love, and the ways we love now, help us see the others more clearly or fog our vision, distract from our purpose and make us selfish? Set in present-day Toronto, Incidental Musicis a novel about three very different women grappling with these questions.
       Petra, in her thirties, is new to the city. She is eager to establish roots and finally feel somewhere at home, but keeps losing jobs, finds it impossible to make friends or adopt a cause. Martha, in her fifties, is at home in every way. Prosperous, compassionate and intellectual, she is a happily married mother of grown children who just might have built everything in her life on an impressive amount of self-deception. A retired opera singer well into her seventies, Romola left Hungary after the failed 1956 uprising, having played part in it as a member of the group of performing artists called Sektor 7. She had an international career since, but now rarely leaves her mid-town apartment.

       The lives of the women overlap, but there is never any unison. Petra, Martha and Romola are like the three operatic voices--soprano, mezzo and alto--that only sometimes pair up their melodic lines. Martha and Petra, who have a tumultuous affair, share awareness of  their urban environs and love the city, whereas Romola, who becomes Petra's employer, only ever inhabits a tenebrous geography of remorse and subterfuge.
       Incidental Music is unapologetically Toronto-centric, but its civic and heritage threads will be of interest to any city dweller concerned with future of the urban commons. Its characters move through a remarkable range of intellectual domains--philosophy, opera, heritage and urban development, Canadian society and politics, the changing nature of work and the recent histories of two Eastern European countries.
       This book will have your heart by way of your mind.
[An excerpt was published in Steel Bananas Quarterly, Issue 28, September 2011 ]

                                      Earlier Short Fiction
Heimat, Mutter
Short story, July 2010
No Stones off Florence
Short story
Matrix Magazine, Montreal. New Feminisms Issue, #85, 
February 2010
in print