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Gone: A Girl, a Violin, a Life Unstrung
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Gone: A Girl, a Violin, a Life Unstrung


The spellbinding memoir of a violin virtuoso who loses the instrument that had defined her both on stage and off -- and who discovers, beyond the violin, the music of her own voice

Her first violin was tiny, harsh, factory-made; her first piece was "Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star." But from the very beginning, Min Kym knew that music was the element in which she could swim and dive and soar. At seven years old, she was a prodigy, the youngest ever student at the famed Purcell School. At eleven, she won her first international prize; at eighteen, violinist great Ruggiero Ricci called her "the most talented violinist I've ever taught." And at twenty-one, she found "the one," the violin she would play as a soloist: a rare 1696 Stradivarius. Her career took off. She recorded the Brahms concerto and a world tour was planned. Then, in a London cafe, her violin was stolen. She felt as though she had lost her soulmate, and with it her sense of who she was. Overnight she became unable to play or function, stunned into silence.

In this lucid and transfixing memoir, Kym reckons with the space left by her violin's absence. She sees with new eyes her past as a child prodigy, with its isolation and crushing expectations; her combustible relationships with teachers and with a domineering boyfriend; and her navigation of two very different worlds, her traditional Korean family and her music. And in the stark yet clarifying light of her loss, she rediscovers her voice and herself.

Title:Gone: A Girl, a Violin, a Life Unstrung
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:227 pages
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    Gone: A Girl, a Violin, a Life Unstrung Reviews

  • Rebecca Foster
    Jun 05, 2017

    The best memoirs introduce you to a life experience you’ll never know for yourself. I’m completely unmusical, so I enjoyed learning about what it’s like to be a violin virtuoso and a child prodi...

  • Thebooktrail
    Apr 06, 2017

    Visit the locations in the novel: Gone This book sang to me – what a joy to read and an honour to be inside Min Kym’s world. Despite the relatively short length of the story, this is just the writ...

  • Kasa Cotugno
    Mar 22, 2017

    This book has it all. In her beautifully written memoir, Min Kym describes her life as a childhood prodigy who received notice from a very early age. From the age of six, when she first picked up a sc...

  • Marjorie
    Mar 22, 2017

    I very much enjoyed this heartfelt memoir by Min Kym. Ms. Kym gives us an in depth look into the life of a child prodigy. Though she longed to live a “normal” life, hers was taken up with studying...

  • Evann
    Feb 01, 2017

    Min is more talented than all of us, totally knows it and I didn't hate her for even a minute. Love her writing. Love her candor in regards to all her greatness and her flaws. It reads very fresh and ...

  • Tracey
    Jan 23, 2017

    Gone is the story of a woman with a violin, who had begun as a child prodigy on the violin, who had found her equivalent to a soul mate in the perfect violin for her, and from whom this violin was sto...

  • Angie
    May 22, 2017

    Min Kym tackled a difficult task here: to describe a loss that few people truly understand. She spends a lot of time trying to convey her relationship to music and to her Strad, they way it became a p...

  • Suze
    Apr 13, 2017

    Music has always been in Min Kym's blood and from the moment she held the violin for the first time she knew this instrument would make her happy. As a child prodigy her career as a musician was settl...

  • Sara
    Apr 09, 2017

    Unlike the description in the Goodreads blurb about this memoir, I found Min Kym's Gone to be a very far cry from 'spellbinding.' This was the first 'uncorrected proof' that I've received that I felt ...

  • Karen
    Apr 27, 2017

    I couldn't put this book down. Min-Jin Kym is a violin virtuoso, born in Korea, but raised in London, England. I loved her honesty about her love for the violin, growing up as a prodigy. Even though I...