Pianist Leon Fleisher appears at the 2011 National Book Festival. Speaker Biography: In what The New York Times calls "a candid and lively memoir," world-renowned pianist Leon Fleisher frankly discusses how his thoughts turned to suicide when, in 1965, his left hand became crippled by a disease that was not diagnosed until 1991. During that interval, unwilling to concede defeat, he immersed himself in the left-handed piano repertory and also became a conductor. By 1995, he was again able to play two-handed. "My Nine Lives: A Memory of Many Careers in Music" (Doubleday), which he wrote with Washington Post music critic Anne Midgette, is Fleisher's ode to perseverance. Midgette will interview Fleisher during his presentation. For captions, transcript, and more information visit http://www.loc.gov/today/cyberlc/feature_wdesc.php?rec=5317.
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