Martin Ridnour is an art dealer who works mostly in Europe and travels back and forth between the United States and the cities of Europe. He is Nina’s lover of twenty years and his outer appearance is described through Lianne’s eyes: "Martin was overweight but did not appear ripe with good living. He was usually jet-lagged, more or less unwashed, in a well-worn suit, trying to resemble an old poet in exile […]" (ll.3-5, p. 43, ch. 2)
He and Nina travel together and spend time together when he is in New York.
Remains a mystery
Lianne knows very little about Martin, and her mother only reveals to her what she knows twenty years after they have met. Nina has chosen to accept that his former, and for some parts also present, life remains a mystery. He might even have a wife in Europe:
'He’s somewhere, I’m somewhere else.'
'He has a wife.'
'She’s somewhere else too.' (ll. 12-15, p. 145, ch. 8)
Martin Ridnour’s former name was Ernst Hechinger. He was politically active in Germany in the sixties and seventies and involved in terrorism somehow. Nina knows that he has thrown eggs and set off a bomb, and she comforts herself with the thought that he ...