The Pianist by Wladyslaw Szpilman
The Extraordinary True Story of One Man's Survival in Warsaw

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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 stunning testament to human endurance and the redemptive power of fellow feeling.


About Wladyslaw Szpilman

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Wladyslaw Szpilman was born in 1911. He 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. He lives in Warsaw
Published September 2, 2000 by Picador. 225 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel, War, Arts & Photography, Science & Math, Humor & Entertainment, Young Adult. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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A striking Holocaust memoir that conveys with exceptional immediacy and cool reportage the author’s desperate fight for survival and the German who came to his aid.

| Read Full Review of The Pianist: The Extraordinar...

The Guardian

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After escaping from the transport train taking his entire family to Treblinka (a policeman recognised him as the celebrated pianist and let him go), he spent the remaining war years hiding in bomb-blasted buildings, going for weeks without food, drinking stagnant bath water to keep himself alive.

Sep 12 2008 | Read Full Review of The Pianist: The Extraordinar...

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