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Los Angeles Times Columnist Steve Lopez to Discuss His Book "The Soloist"

"The Soloist" book cover

Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez will deliver a talk at Pomona College about his nonfiction book, The Soloist: A Lost Dream, An Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music (2008), which began as a series of columns in that paper. The event is open to the public and will take place on Sunday, October 4, 2009 at 2 p.m., in Bridges Hall of Music (150 E. 4th St, Claremont). There is no cost to attend.

Copies of the book will be available for purchase, and Lopez will sign them following his discussion. The event will start with a short concert of music, performed by Pomona Professor of Music Genevieve Lee (piano) and Maggie Perkins (cello).

The Soloist is the story of a homeless musician befriended by Lopez and deals with issues of mental illness, trust, hope and the impact of the unlikely friendship upon Lopez. The book was praised by Essence magazine as “A heartbreaking, yet ultimately hopeful read.” Lopez writes “with self-effacing humor, fast-paced yet elegant prose, and unsparing honesty,” according to Publishers Weekly. It was made into a film released this year starring Jaime Foxx and Robert Downey, Jr.

Lopez came to the Los Angeles Times after four years at Time, Inc., where he wrote for Time, Sports Illustrated, Life and Entertainment Weekly. Prior to that he was a columnist at the Philadelphia Inquirer, the San Jose Mercury News and the Oakland Tribune. Lopez is the author of three novels, In the Clear (2002), The Sunday Macaroni Club (1997) and Third and Indiana (1995); and Land of Giants: Where No Deed Goes Unpunished (1995), a compilation of his columns at the Philadelphia Inquirer.

This reading is sponsored by the Claremont Library’s On the Same Page, which chose the book as their 2009 selection for the citywide reading program. As part of the 2009 On the Same Page program, the group is holding an essay contest for grades K-8 and high school students, on related themes from the book, such as improbable friendships and music. The deadline is October 7. For further information on the Claremont citywide reading program or its essay contest, call (909) 621-4902, e-mail friendsofclaremontlibrary@gmail.com or visit www.claremontlibrary.org.