Counterpoint: A Memoir of Bach and Mourning

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Product Details

W. W. Norton & Company
Publish Date
5.7 X 8.2 X 1.1 inches | 0.85 pounds

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About the Author

Philip Kennicott, the senior art and architecture critic of the Washington Post and a former contributing editor for the New Republic, won the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 2013. He lives in Washington, DC.


A piano teacher once told me, 'We can be sitting here and play a phrase and suddenly there's beauty.' You can touch a page of this book for beauty, along with sadness and wonder and certainly joy.--Noah Adams, contributing correspondent, National Public Radio, and author of Piano Lessons
An absorbing meditation on grief....Elegant prose graces a deeply thoughtful memoir.--Kirkus (starred review)
Full of arresting insights about the way music permeates our lives, as well as heartbreaking reflections on the wounds a parent can inflict on a child.--Michael O'Donnell
Immensely moving....With gorgeous prose and granular inspection, Kennicott has created a subtle and profound portrait of love, loss and the human condition.--Marcia Butler
A thought-provoking and accomplished memoir, meeting Kennicott's own criterion that 'every good book or great piece of music carries with it the possibility of redemption.'--Martha Anne Toll
Offers deep and pleasurable ruminations on how our obsessions--musical and artistic--can contribute to an inner life that is both satisfying and difficult so share....But it is Kennicott's intimate insights into the towering music of Bach, and to the way music speaks to all our lives as we approach our inevitable deaths, that make this book an unforgettable triumph.--BookPage (starred review)
Lyrical and haunting.--Alex Ross