Monday, July 23, 2012
Perri Knize, GRAND OBSESSION
An unusual memoir about a woman in her 40s (an award-winning environmental policy reporter, by the way) who decides to buy a piano ... and discovers that it's harder than it looks. Blessed (or cursed) with a sensitive ear, Knize tries dozens of pianos before she finds the perfect one; she brings her piano home to Montana ... and it's gone dead, shrill, and horrible. What to do? Her research about pianos, their tone, and their voice takes her to New York and to Europe, and we follow her as she learns about everything from the wood that a piano is made from to various methods of "voicing" and metaphysics. This book was surprisingly readable, for someone like me who knows virtually nothing about pianos--because (sort of like with Lance Armstrong, who wrote IT'S NOT ABOUT THE BIKE) it's not about the piano. It's about curiosity and community and belief.