The Pianist: The Extraordinary True Story of One Man's Survival in Warsaw, 1939-1945
Written by Wladyslaw Szpilman
Translated from the Polish by Anthea Bell
with Extracts from the Dairy of Wilm Hosenfeld
Foreword by Andrzej Szpilman
Epilogue by Wolf Biermann
Named one of the Best Books of 1999 by the Los Angeles Times, The Pianist is now a major motion picture directed by Roman Polanski and starring Adrien Brody (Son of Sam). The Pianist won the Cannes Film Festival's most prestigious prize--the Palme d'Or.
On September 23, 1939, WLADYSLAW SZPILMAN played Chopin's Nocturne in C-sharp Minor live on the radio as shells exploded outside--so loudly that he couldn't hear his piano. It was the last live music broadcast from Warsaw: That day, a German bomb hit the station, and Polish Radio went off the air.
Though he lost his entire family, Szpilman survived in hiding. In the end, his life was saved by a German officer who heard him play the same Chopin nocturne on a piano found among the rubble. Written immediately after the war and suppressed for decades, The Pianist is a testament to astonishing human endurance and healing through compassion.
"A stunning tribute to what one human being can endure, The Pianist is even more--a testimony to the redemptive power of fellow feeling."
The Plain Dealer
"Illuminates vividly the horror that overcame the Polish people. Szpilman's account has an immediacy, vivid and anguished."
The Sunday Telegraph
WLADYSLAW SZPILMAN (1911-2000) studied the piano at the Warsaw Conservatory and at the Academy of Arts in Berlin. From 1945 to 1963, he was Director of Music at Polish Radio, and he also pursued a career as a concert pianist and composer for many years.
Publishing House: Picador, New York 2000
Softcover book measuring 5.5" x 8.25"
224 pages, photographs
English Language Version
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