When journalist Steve Lopez sees Nathaniel Ayers playing his heart out on a two-string violin on Los Angeles' skid row, he finds it impossible to walk away. More than 30 years ago, Ayers was a promising classical bass student at Juilliard - ambitious, charming, and also one of the few African-Americans there - until he gradually lost his ability to function, overcome by schizophrenia.
Over time, the two men form a bond and Lopez imagines that he might be able to change Ayers' life. The Soloist is a beautifully told story of devotion in the face of seemingly unbeatable challenges.
"Fascinating true story"
With a star that rose from unforgettable child acting roles, such as A. C. Slater in Saved by the Bell, to the forefront of today's entertainment media, Mario Lopez is nothing short of a pop culture sensation. Now, as he turns forty, Mario looks back on his life with a newfound perspective and a humorous sensibility of how things have changed with age, divulging for the first time the endearing, surprising, and sometimes difficult experiences that shaped him into the loving father and husband he is today.
Fourteen-year-old Gabriel's father skipped two years ago. Now his mother, Ofelia, is searching for her runaway son, riding her bicycle at night through the city's darkest, most violent stretch. The pavement beneath her is mysteriously painted with chalk outlines of bodies. Each time a child is killed, another white outline appears.
The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books began in 1996 with a simple goal: to bring together the people who create books with the people who love to read them. The festival was an immediate success and has become the largest and most prestigious book festival in the country, attracting more than 130,000 book lovers each year.