The Courage Consort, possibly the seventh best-known a cappella vocal ensemble in Britain, are give two weeks in a Belgian chateau top rehearse their latest commission, the monstrously complicated Partitum Mutante. But is the piece performable? Does it matter that its composer is a maniac best known for attacking his wife with a stiletto shoe at the baggage reclaim of the Milan airport? Can the five members of the Consort endure their own sexual tensions and wildly differing temperaments? And what is the inhuman voice that calls out to them from the woods at night?The esoteric world of avant-garde classical music is the unlikely setting for a story of rare power, perhaps the most moving Michael Faber has yet written. From the chaos and hilarity of Partitum Mutante, a numbed woman comes alive to the realities of friendship, independence and desire.
Michel Faber's startlingly original novel, Under the Skin (2000), which garnered accolades from around the world, was shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel Award 2000 and nominated for the Dublin Impac Award, 2002. He has also won several short story awards including the Neil Gunn, Ian St James and Macallan. Some Rain Must Fall (1988), his first collection of stories, won a Scottish Arts Council award as well as the Saltire First Book of the Year Award, 1999. Faber's fiction is being translated into 21 languages. Born in Holland, brought up in Australia, he now lives in the Scottish Highlands.