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Written by Amanda Kippert Category: Arts Issue: November 2017
Group Free
Sonata: A Memoir of Pain and the Piano
Sonata: A Memoir of Pain and the Piano by Andrea Avery

READ IT: Phoenix author and teacher Andrea Avery grew up with two things: irrefutable musical talent and rheumatoid arthritis. At a young age, she realized the latter would eclipse her gift on the piano in everyone’s eyes except hers. Her debut book Sonata: A Memoir of Pain and the Piano (Pegasus Books, $15.41) is about living with a diagnosis that attempts to rob her of her passion. “There was this bargaining process,” Avery says. “It’s a grief to become ill; it’s a grief to have to stop doing something you love.” She’d attempt to bargain with her disease: “OK, let’s make a deal – you can take roller-skating.” Brutally hilarious, raw and inspiring, Avery explains what it’s like to, as she describes it, get old before growing up. “Pain is like noise,” Avery writes. “When it’s persistent, your glorious, efficient body tunes it out.”