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Become a Member Login Donate. The Soloist. The Soloist tells the story of an unlikely friendship between Steve Lopez, a reporter for the LA Times , and Nathaniel Ayers, a schizophrenic and chronically homeless man that Lopez meets playing a two-stringed violin on a street corner. The book and the movie based on it explore the link between homelessness and mental illness, providing an opportunity for people to begin conversations about how these issues affect their communities. If you are interested in holding an event around the book or the movie, take a look at these ideas and resources. Partner with your local library for a community read Hold a reading at a local bookstore Contact local book clubs and suggest they read The Soloist. Have staff members read the book or see the movie together and hold a staff meeting afterwards Discuss how the issues raised by the story relate to your agency: the process of recovery, the challenges of engaging clients and providing services, the problem of compassion fatigue, the need to maintain balance between personal and professional life Research the ways that other states provide services for homeless people and discuss ways for North Carolina to improve its system.
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At first, he is drawn by the opportunity to crank out another column for the Los Angeles Times, just one more item on an ever-growing to-do list: "Violin Man. More than thirty years earlier, Ayers had been a promising classical bass student at Juilliard- ambitious, charming, and one of the few African-Americans- until he gradually lost his ability to function, overcome by a mental breakdown. When Lopez finds him, Ayers is alone, suspicious of everyone, and deeply troubled, but glimmers of that brilliance are still there. Lopez collects donated violins, a cello, even a stand-up bass and a piano with the hope that Ayers can be swayed to move off the streets, where every day his well-being is threatened. Their bond takes tortuous turns as Lopez imagines he can change Ayers's life- finding him lodging, reconnecting him to his family, taking him to Disney Concert Hall to meet a former Juilliard classmate. For each triumph, there is a crashing disappointment, yet neither man gives up.
Steve Lopez is the author of several books, including The Sunday Macaroni Club and The Soloist. In , The Soloist was made into a movie starring Robert.
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Nathaniel Ayers was a prodigy, an African American musician who was accepted to Juliard to play and to study classical bass. During his second year at that school he developed schizophrenia and was quickly unable to function in such a demanding environment. He was forced to drop out. Before long he was broke and homeless, living on the streets. But despite the adversity in his life, his musical talent did not abandon him.
With an OverDrive account, you can save your favorite libraries for at-a-glance information about availability. Find out more about OverDrive accounts. A moving story of the remarkable bond between a journalist in search of a story and a homeless, classically trained musician—now a major motion picture from DreamWorks starring Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr. When Steve Lopez saw Nathaniel Ayers playing his heart out on a two-string violin on Los Angeles' skid row, he found it impossible to walk away. More than thirty years earlier, Ayers had been a promising classical bass student at Juilliard—ambitious, charming, and also one of the few African Americans—until he gradually lost his ability to function, overcome by schizophrenia. When Lopez finds him, Ayers is homeless, paranoid, and deeply troubled, but glimmers of that brilliance are still there.