by MacDonald Harris. New York: Atheneum Publishers, 1984.

From the Jacket:

In his new novel--his eleventh--the author of Herma and The Balloonist once again mingles magic into the passions and intrigues of our contemporary world.

Tenth recounts the transformation of Julian Coates, an obscure professor in a California university, into a creative artist--through the force of fate and his own sometimes shaky but violent will. Called upon by an attractive BBC editor to give a radio talk on a German composer, Julian finds himself undertaking the task of completing the composer's unfinished Tenth Symphony--the symphony that has been mysteriously forgbidden to the world's greatest composers. He quickly encounters a formidable antagonist: the composers's "pest of a daughter" who owns the rights to his work. Soon Julian is enmeshed in a complicated web of intrigue involving three women; the editor, the heiress, and his blond and placid California mistress.

Tenth begins by attaching itself playfully to a well-known work of world literature--the Adrian Leverkuhn whose music is discussed is the protagonist of Thomas Mann's novel Doctor Faustus. From that point, however, Harris's novel assumes a tone quite its own, light and ironic, then tenebrous and metaphysical by turns. This is a novel directly in the tradition of Harris's previous work, gripping, unsettling, and elegant.

Critical Acclaim for Tenth

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