“Soloist” author Steve Lopez keynotes Closing Session

Contact: Macey Morales / Jennifer Petersen

ALA Media Relations

312-280-4393 / 5043

mmorales@ala.org /


For Immediate Release:

June 11, 2009

CHICAGO—Steve Lopez, Los Angeles Times columnist and author of “The Soloist: A Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music,” will serve as the American Library Association Conference’s Closing Session Keynote Speaker on Tuesday, July 14 from 8 to 9 a.m. at McCormick Place West. His appearance is sponsored by Penguin.

Adapted into a major motion picture starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx, “The Soloist” is the true story of Lopez’s extraordinary encounters with a homeless violinist named Nathaniel Anthony Ayers. Lopez found Ayers on a busy street corner in Los Angeles, dressed in rags and playing Beethoven on a battered two-string violin.

Lopez visited regularly with Ayers and wrote a series of columns about the talented musician, who was struck down with mental illness in the prime of his life. Despite the many difficulties and demands of helping Ayers battle schizophrenia, a remarkable bond of friendship developed between the two.

Lopez joined the staff of The Los Angeles Times in May 2001 after four years at Time Inc., where he wrote for
Time, Sports Illustrated, Life and
Weekly. His work has won several national awards for column writing and magazine reporting.

For more information on the Closing Session and other speakers at the 2009 Annual ALA Conference, which is being held July 9-15, visit the ALA Conference Web site at
www.ala.org/annual or contact ALA Media Relations Manager Macey Morales at (312) 280-4393,
mmorales@ala.org or ALA PR Coordinator Jennifer Petersen at (312) 280-5043,