2009 Archive

"The Soloist" by Steve Lopez

About the Book
Lopez is fascinated when he first sees a homeless man, dressed in rags, intently playing a violin on a busy downtown Los Angeles street corner. Oblivious to the noise and confusion around him, the man plays with the concentration and elegance of a trained musician. From their first encounter, Lopez is fascinated by Nathaniel Anthony Ayers, a Juilliard trained musician who lives on Skid Row and plays Beethoven on a two-stringed violin in a noisy traffic tunnel.

In fluid prose and with a reporter’s persistence, Lopez tells of his determination to understand Ayers’ illness, to convince him to come in off the street to safety and to reconnect him to his music. It’s not an easy journey for either man, with bitter disappointments punctuated by hard fought triumphs. It is a test of wills and friendship as Lopez refuses to lose Ayers to the street and Ayers struggles to overcome his fears and demons.

About the Author
Steve Lopez is an award-winning journalist and Los Angeles Times columnist. “The Soloist," a New York Times and Los Angeles Times best seller, is the true story of Lopez’s fascination with Nathaniel Anthony Ayers, a Juilliard trained musician who is homeless and plays on a two-stringed violin in a noisy traffic tunnel.

2009 Calendar of Events

An Evening with Author Steve Lopez
Sunday, August 30, 7 p.m.
East Lansing High School Auditorium, 509 Burcham Dr.

University Welcome for Incoming MSU Students Featuring Author Steve Lopez
Monday, August 31, 9 a.m.
Jack Breslin Student Events Center (public is welcome)

Writing Workshops Led by MSU Professor Anita Skeen
Tuesday, September 8, 15 & 22; 4- 6 p.m. & 7-9 p.m.
East Lansing Public Library, 950 Abbot Road

“The Soloist” in Film
Thursday, September 10, 7 p.m.
East Lansing Public Library, 950 Abbot Road
Watch a showing of the film featuring Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey, Jr. Enjoy FREE popcorn!

As Seen in the Movies: Themes from “The Soloist”
Monday, September 14: “A Beautiful Mind,” 7 p.m.
Monday, September 21: “Pursuit of Happyness,” 7 p.m.
East Lansing Public Library, 950 Abbot Road
Themes from “The Soloist’” will be discussed by community leaders in the field of mental illness and homelessness following each film.

The Web, Blogs and Twitter—Oh My!
Wednesday, September 16, 7 p.m.
Lincoln Room, Kellogg Center, MSU Campus
How will we get our news? Hear from experts in both “old” and “new” media about the future of the news industry in the age of blogs and online news.

Special Themed Dinners in MSU Residence Halls
Thursday, September 17, 4-8 p.m.
MSU residence halls will host special themed dinners featuring music from “The Soloist.”
Dinner is free with a meal plan; guests are $9.

Community Book Talk: “The Soloist”
Thursday, September 17, 7 p.m.
E.L. Hannah Community Center; 819 Abbot Road
The community is invited to join in on a facilitated discussion of the themes of the book. Author Steve Lopez will join the discussion by video conference.

From Page to Screen: How Books Translate to the Big Screen
Wednesday, September 23, 7 p.m.
Kellogg Center, MSU Campus, Lincoln Room
Join Mid-Michigan native Mark Marabate, who now makes his living as a screenwriter in Hollywood, as he explores the ways that books are translated into film.

MSU Film Series: “Once”
Thursday, September 24, 7 p.m.
MSU Main Library
Watch this modern-day musical about a man and a woman as they write, rehearse and record songs that tell their love story. MSU Assistant Professor Joanna Bosse will lead a discussion following the movie.