Vivien Shotwell

Author of
  • Vienna Nocturne
    Ballantine Books (02/14)

Vivien Shotwell was born in Boulder, Colorado and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia. A graduate of Williams College and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was an Iowa Arts Fellow, she is currently pursuing an Artist Diploma in opera performance at Yale University and working on her next novel. She was a 2003 recipient of the Benjamin B. Wainwright short story prize and the Hubbard Hutchinson Memorial Fellowship in creative writing, both from Williams College, as well as the 2005 Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia prize for best short story. Her short fiction has been published in Esopus Magazine.

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Vienna Nocturne

Vienna Nocturne chronicles the life and loves of Anna Storace, an opera singer who lived in the 18th century and was one of the greatest stars of her time. In Vienna Nocturne Vivien vividly and movingly re-imagines Anna’s rumored love affair with Amadeus Mozart. Set in London, Italy and Vienna, the novel evokes the era of Enlightenment in Europe, when the arts flourished under the patronage of emperors and kings. It portrays Anna’s struggle to come to terms with her social position, in an age where an opera singer’s status was equivalent to that of a courtesan, acclaimed and celebrated, moving among the members of high society but never able to belong. But Anna wants everything – to be famous, to be loved and to be secure – and this leads her to make some fatal choices. Written in prose that is as melodious as an aria, Vienna Nocturne is both an historical novel and a love story; but above all it is the story of a woman’s operatic battle to find love and fame in a world that seeks to control her.

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