summer, Pasadena will be buzzing about an American music professor,
a child prodigy and a murder trial.
No, the tale is not from the pages of the local newspaper,
but from “The Soloist” by Mark
Salzman, selected for Pasadena’s first-ever One City, One
by the Pasadena Public Library, the program is designed to broaden
and deepen an appreciation of reading and compel friends, families
and neighbors to share their experience while reading the same book.
The project is further intended to engage the community in
dialogue and seeks to bring the Pasadena community together by
promoting tolerance and understanding about differing points of
City, One Story is based on a successful program that started in
Seattle in 1996 and has spread to other cities across the country.
The Pasadena project is being coordinated by a Steering
Committee composed of librarians, library commissioners, and
An Honorary Committee
includes community leaders who are lending their support to the
book selection committee,
which included neighborhood residents, professional writers, book
critics and librarians, narrowed a list of thirty initial
recommendations to a select list of five
Following careful deliberation, The Soloist, by Mark
Salzman was the ultimate selection. The Soloist, Salzman’s
third novel, was published in 1994 and received a Pulitzer Prize
nomination and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Time Book Prize
Salzman holds a degree in Chinese Language and Literature from Yale.
He lived in China from 1982 to 1984, where he taught English
at Hunan Medical College.
Mr. Salzman’s other books include Iron and Silk, The
Laughing Sutra, Lost in Place, and his best-selling
novel, Lying Awake.
of The Soloist are available for loan at all Pasadena Public
Library branches and are available for purchase at local bookstores.
City, One Story will offer a variety of unique and exciting
activities all centered on promoting reading as a communal activity.
Events will include a wide range of family and
neighborhood-based activities including book talks, musical and
theatrical performances, workplace discussions, artistic expressions
– all intended to encourage discussion about the themes raised in
the book The Soloist.
discussions will be held throughout the community at branch
libraries, neighborhood centers, and other locations.
Discussions may be focused around specific themes covered in The
Soloist such as music education, child prodigies, mentor/student
relationships, the jury system, or the experiences of immigrants
living in Los Angeles.
book discussion guide and a calendar of events will be available in
early June on the project home page.
are welcome to help lead discussions and assist in program
Community and corporate sponsors are also invited to partner
with the City of Pasadena by hosting a book discussion or other
activity, or by helping to publicize or fund the project.
For more information on how to become involved, contact
Bernadette Glover, Pasadena Public Library, (626) 744-7323, Beth
Walker, Pasadena Public Library, (626) 744-4297, or use our online
the One City, One Story home page for the most up-to-date
information available on the project.
In the coming weeks, this page will include information on
events, volunteer opportunities, study guide, and more.
Project home page | Fact
Sheet | Event Photos
Discussion Toolkit | Sponsors