Cristian Mihai is a talented young lit-fic writer from Romania. Literary fiction generally isn't my reading material of choice, but somehow I stumbled across Mr. Mihai's writing (I think he followed my Wordpress blog?) and found myself enjoying it very much. Most of his work seems to be short stories, which are easily digestible for someone like me, who prefers stories with magic and evil and guys with swords (or guns).
A Sad, Sad Symphony is a story about a composer who at the end of his life finally composes the perfect symphony, an achievement he's always fallen short of before. Flashbacks into his earlier years suggest that this symphony might be a final gift of grace from the cosmos. It's a beautifully-written examination of the creative process and the need to create, as great as the need to breathe or eat for some people. Character, place, and mood are powerfully invoked by the clear, graceful language.