The Chamber Music Evening

By Phillip Lopate, first published in Paris Review.

A supposedly peaceable day for the Werner family simmers with the annoyances and insecurities of each family member, finally boiling over in a public parental outburst. Emigrant father Werner Hartmann judges the strengths and flaws of his wife and daughters over the course of the day, finally boiling over in unwarranted anger when his daughter Annette makes a small mistake.

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