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Chasing Chopin
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About the Author

Annik LaFarge is a writer, photographer, lecturer, and author of the much-praised On the High Line: Exploring America's Most Original Urban Park, winner of the IPPY award for Travel Guidebook. She has been writing about the High Line and urban landscapes since 2009 on the blog Livin The High Line. Her most recent book is Chasing Chopin: A Musical Journey Across 3 Centuries, 4 Countries, and a Half Dozen Revolutions. She lives in New York City.

Reviews

"A luminous book, rich with reporting and reflection and marvelously animated by LaFarge's passion for the subject. Whether you love Chopin doesn't matter: This is an irresistible journey into history and the nature of genius." -SUSAN ORLEAN, The New York Times bestselling author of The Library Book

"Annik LaFarge brilliantly traces the footsteps of Chopin's life in a way that is thoroughly engrossing for the layman and professional musician alike. My only regret is that there is not an Annik LaFarge book on the life of every important composer in the classical canon. Her virtuosic linguistic talent is put to good use in this fascinating book." -SCOTT YOO, host of Now Hear This on PBS

"Annik LaFarge's wonderful Chasing Chopin, like the music that inspired it, is a tour-de-force and journey of the soul. Attempting to unpack the awe she experienced hearing Chopin's Funeral March Sonata at a concert years ago, LaFarge does much more than recount the story of the music and its composer. She tells us why they matter, now, deeply and in all sorts of ways, to her and us. Traveling with a backpack from New York to Paris to Majorca, interrogating musicians, scholars, software developers, piano makers - going where the music and inspiration take her - she produces a diary of discovery that's a joy to read."-MICHAEL KIMMELMAN, author of The Accidental Masterpiece: On the Art of Life and Vice Versa and architecture critic for the New York Times

"Come for the finely drawn portrait of a musical genius, stay for the evocative recreation of the world he knew. By immersing herself in the creative context that nurtured Chopin's famous sonata, Annik LaFarge makes him live again. Chasing Chopin is infused with a roving curiosity and passion worthy of its subject." -BENJAMIN WALLACE, author of The Billionaire's Vinegar

"It is almost impossible for me to imagine a world in which [Chopin's 'Funeral March'] is both fresh and tragic, where its death is real. Annik LaFarge's charming and loving new book attempts to recover this world...This book took me into many unexpected corners...For a book about death, it's bursting with life and lively research." -JEREMY DENK, New York Times

"The lurid fantasies foisted on the composer since his death have made him almost unrecognisable - though Annik LaFarge does much to dispel them...an intensely personal journey through time, place and politics....LaFarge is weighty (and great) on the importance and singularity of Chopin's friend and patron Astolphe de Custine...she has a good eye and ear for her subject, choosing her anecdotes with care."- PAUL KILDEA, Spectator

"This slender but wide-ranging volume is impeccably researched....never seems overly scholarly and will appeal to a variety of general readers."-LIBRARY JOURNAL

"Annik LaFarge's Chasing Chopin is a slim book but it stands out because it's a hybrid work-biography and journalism-with utterly lovely, vivid descriptions of Chopin's music."-POPMATTERS

"[An] entertaining dual music history and memoir...LaFarge's affectionate fan's notes flow as melodiously as a Chopin opus."-PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

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