How will the story stack up against the greatest films about business?
Europe has been a place of battles and political intrigue for centuries.
Hard-eyed, she sings of foreign wars and exploitation, of how "The ghost of Columbus still haunts this world/Because you're still conquering America".
When we meet for tea the afternoon after the bookstore gig, it is obvious that while she claims to have relaxed a little around journalists, she still finds interviews unpleasant. "Tracy has a cold," explains her manager, "she wouldn't want you to catch it." She does look peaky in the artificial light. Torturing a painfully shy person with questions is no fun, and the deadening atmosphere of the hotel room we have rented for the hour doesn't ease things.
Her love songs play out as negotiations; her social issues have faces.
She says that her lyrics are not autobiographical, yet she has recently spoken out about being assaulted by a gang of white boys on her way home from her Cleveland school when she was 13. "That was par for the course, but on this day I confronted him with a few choice words of my own. I was so mad, I stood my ground, and he started to smash my face against the ground." It is a scene she returns to in a new song, 3,000 Miles, singing of "bullies beating/soft skin against cold concrete".
T-shirt squeezes her overexcited mother's hand as the pair nestle into the crook of a spiral staircase beside the makeshift stage on which announcements are being made about the charity Housingworks, which provides shelter and other services for those who are homeless and living with HIV and Aids.
The scene is perfectly set for what I suspect will be an intense, worthy and acoustic fund-raising performance from Tracy Chapman.
"It's fun playing small venues," she says, gazing down at meshed fingers.
It must have felt great, too, raising all that money for Housingworks.
"As a writer I am interested in the process of creation," she explains. "I'm not as prolific as I was." At one point she wouldn't commit anything to paper until a song was finished.
"This book was by a neurologist who suffered from hypergraphia - a compulsive need to write. She is nervous of pens, preferring pencils which leave "no evidence of your creative trail". "When we started making Where You Live, I bought a bunch of Polaroid cameras in so that people could record the experience.
But she discusses her songs as "works of fiction, so I don't have to be responsible for what they say. but the path isn't direct." She pauses for a very long time before expanding on her love of narrative.