Sonata: A Memoir of Pain and the Piano by Andrea Avery

Into the Wild

Read Sonata: A Memoir of Pain and the Piano Online Free - Andrea Avery, already a promising and ambitious classical pianist at twelve, was diagnosed with a severe case of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) that threatened not just her musical aspirations but her ability to live a normal life.
As Andrea navigates the pain and frustration of coping with RA alongside the usual travails of puberty, college, sex, and just growing-up, she turns to music?specifically Franz Schubert's sonata in B-flat D960, and the one-armed pianist Paul Wittgenstein for strength and inspiration. The heartbreaking story of this mysterious sonata—Schubert’s last, and his most elusive and haunting—is the soundtrack of Andrea's story.

Sonata is a breathtaking exploration of a “Janus-head miracle”—Andrea's extraordinary talent and even more extraordinary illness. With no cure for her R.A. possible, Andrea must learn to live with this disease while not letting it define her, even though it leaves its mark on everything around her—family, relationships, even the clothes she wears. And in this riveting account, she never loses her wit, humor, or the raw artistry of a true performer.

As the goshawk becomes a source of both devotion and frustration for Helen Macdonald in H is for Hawk, so the piano comes to represent both struggle and salvation for Andrea in her extraordinary debut.

Title : Sonata: A Memoir of Pain and the Piano
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 1681774097
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 336 pages


Pamela rated it ★★★★☆

September 01, 2017

"It's one thing to be injured and a very different thing to be sick. To be injured is to visit the night-side of life; to be chronically, incurably ill is to be Locked Up Abroad there." Blazingly Candid (painfully and uncomfortably so at times, with tinges of bitterness and emotional aloofness) An...

Melissa rated it ★★★★★

March 07, 2017

A beautifully written, unflinching look at how a pianist has fought and accommodated her disease, even as it tried to close off her instrument. This is not Inspiration Lit. Avery doesn't triumph over adversity to nab a Juilliard scholarship, recording contract, and massive acclaim as a concert pi...

Michelle rated it ★★★★★

May 13, 2017

I finished this book two or three days ago and I haven't stopped thinking about it since. I think it would make an amazing graduation gift for anyone who is off to college and has felt like they don't fit in (so...everyone?), anyone interested in music or anyone with a chronic illness. Or how abo...

John rated it ★★★★★

January 17, 2018

I first encountered Andrea Avery when she guest-blogged on the Rex Parker New York Times crossword puzzle blog, and just in passing mentioned this book (she said she had been encouraged to put in a plug). I'm glad she did. She writes an engaging epistle about dealing with RA, Rheumatoid Arthritis,...

Ryan rated it ★★★★★

June 25, 2017

There is a scene in the movie Amadeus when Mozart is first arriving at the court of the Emperor. Court composer Salieri composed a work for Mozart’s arrival. Mozart, upon one hearing, promptly memorizes and plays back the composition - critiquing it as he plays. At one point, he says something al...

Mari rated it ★★★★★

July 26, 2017

Some people make music their life while others live life musically. Andrea Avery writes her life as Sonata. Using Franz Schubert’s sonata in B-flat D960 as inspiration and metaphor, she shares her memoir of living with RA, rheumatoid arthritis. Like Schubert, debilitated at the height of his care...

John_g rated it ★★★★★

January 11, 2018

This is a beautifully-told confessional memoir about her purposeful battle against physical failures from chronic rheumatoid arthritis. It is a deadpan telling of intense emotions. The reading is sometimes angry and painful, as is her life, but more often is rapturous and inspiring. She says simp...

Margaret rated it ★★★★★

August 07, 2017

This was a wonderful treat! I am a medic with a background in music, and I loved this book. And so did a friend of mine, who is neither musical nor medically trained. We were both easily drawn into the story of Andrea, her charmingly flawed family, and the tragedy of the diagnosis that doomed the...

Karen rated it ★★★★★

August 07, 2017

I haven't been this touched by a book since I read LIT, the memoir by Mary Carr. Avery's SONATA is at once deeply felt and light on its poetic feet, even playful, and I found myself putting little ticks in the margin for the lines that sang to me. I found myself in tears at parts; but this book i...

Lauren rated it ★★★★★

May 12, 2017

Rarely does a book tear my heart out and, in the very next sentence, make me laugh in a sudden chortle that scares my dog. This is that book. I don't often read memoir. Only the greats combine a deep self-awareness and a complete lack of self-pity. Only the best keep me up well past a sane bedtim...

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