Ann Eriksson reads excerpts from her book The Performance Monday (Nov. 21) at the Harbourfront Library.

Ann Eriksson reads excerpts from her book The Performance Monday (Nov. 21) at the Harbourfront Library.

Ann Eriksson explores issue of homelesseness in latest novel

Author Ann Eriksson reads excerpts from her book The Performance at Nanaimo's Harbourfront Library Monday (Nov. 21).

Ann Eriksson envisioned a young woman, a pianist, standing outside a concert hall and across the street there was a woman watching the performer.

She didn’t know who the woman was.

But the image was the seed that eventually turned into her latest novel The Performance.

“I am a very visual writer it sort of manifests in my head first,” said Eriksson. “My talent as a writer is really to translate those pictures in my head into words.”

The Performance is about a young pianist named Hana who develops a friendship with a homeless woman named Jacqueline, who sells handmade mittens and collects bottles to buy tickets to see Hana perform.

Social issues are important to Eriksson.

In The Performance Eriksson shows the stark disparities between wealthy individuals and people living in poverty.

The PerformanceIn past books such as High Clear Bell of Morning, Eriksson discussed environmental issues. The novel features a marine biologist named Glen whose daughter Ruby becomes ill and he begins to uncover similarities between his daughter’s illness and the death of a killer whale, whose body is full of toxins.

To write a more accurate picture of Jacqueline in The Performance, Eriksson travelled to New York and worked with a homeless advocacy group in Manhattan to learn about homelessness.

“I was quite shocked to find them everywhere. In front of store fronts and sleeping on benches,” said Eriksson, adding her shock was because the area was considered one of the city’s most wealthy neighbourhoods. “I myself was taken back when introduced to the depths of homelessness and inequality.”

To develop Hana’s personality, Eriksson interviewed piano students, read books on the subject and talked to music agents.

Hana is a naive classical pianist who attends Juilliard and whose patron arranges for her to have a Manhattan apartment and a European tour. But there is a darkness in Hana’s past she must face that is tied to her privileged upbringing.

Eriksson reads excerpts from her book and will sign copies of her novel at the Nanaimo Harbourfront Library Monday (Nov. 21) at 6:30 p.m.

The Performance was published by Douglas and McIntyre and was released in October.

For more information about Eriksson and her novels please go to

Just Posted

Graeme Roberts, who was mayor of Nanaimo from 1984-86, died this month at age 89. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Community Archives)
City of Nanaimo flags at half-staff as former mayor Graeme Roberts dies at 89

‘Giant-killer’ beat out Frank Ney in mayoral election in 1984

Curl B.C. chairperson Teri Palynchuk is this year’s winner of the Janette Robbins Award for leadership. Palynchuk is pictured here with the Curling Canada Foundation Cup along with past chairperson Peter Muir, left, and Curl B.C. CEO Scott Braley. (Photo courtesy Curl B.C.)
Nanaimo curling exec wins Curl B.C. leadership award

Teri Palynchuk receives Janette Robbins Award

(Black Press file photo)
RCMP: Air ambulance called to Whiskey Creek after crash involving 2 motorbikes

Both riders taken to hospital with serious injuries

Vancouver courthouse. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Man loses bid to appeal conviction for 1999 rape at Abbotsford music festival

James Redden, 53, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty in 2019 following six-day trial

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Cowichan Tribes man Adrian Sylvester is worried that he was targetted by a trailer hitch thrown from a vehicle. (Facebook photo)
Cowichan Tribes man worried he was target of trailer hitch

Adrian Sylvester says no one has reported a missing hitch after one nearly hit him

CVSAR search the Puntledge River following a report of an abandoned kayak. Photo, CVSAR Facebook page
Comox Valley Search and Rescue spends four hours searching for no one

Overturned kayak a reminder for public to contact officials if they have to abandon a watercraft

Most Read