The acclaimed author of The Paris Diary, Pulitzer Prize–winning American composer Ned Rorem offers readers a mellow, thoughtful, and candid chronicle of his life, work, and contemporaries

One of our most revered contemporary musical artists—winner of the Pulitzer Prize and declared “the world’s best composer of art songs” by Time magazine—Ned Rorem writes that he is “a composer who writes, not a writer who composes.” Despite this claim, Rorem’s published diaries, memoirs, essay collections, and other nonfiction works have all received resounding acclaim for their lyricism, bold honesty, and insightful social commentary.

His Nantucket Diary, covering the years 1973 through 1985, reveals a more mature and graceful Ned Rorem, a man who has experienced great loss and serious illness yet has lost none of his acute observational skills and keenly opinionated nature. His wit remains bracing and his candor refreshing as he offers sharp critiques on the state of modern classical music and its creators. His accounts of times shared with luminaries and legends, musical and otherwise (including Leonard Bernstein, Edward Albee, Virgil Thomson, and Stephen Sondheim) are consistently enthralling and delightful. The outspoken hedonist of The Paris Diary may be older and more subdued now, but his incisive observations and unique outlook on life, both personal and creative, remain an unforgettable reading experience.

ABOUT Ned Rorem


    Ned Rorem is one of the most accomplished and prolific composers of art songs in the world. Drawing on a wide range of poetry and prose as inspiration, his sources have included works by Walt Whitman, W. H. Auden, Paul Goodman, Frank O’Hara, Gertrude Stein, Adrienne Rich, John Ashbery, and Paul Monette. In 1976, Rorem received the Pulitzer Prize in Music for his orchestral work Air Music. His prodigious literary accomplishments include the publication of thirteen books, nine of which were released as ebooks by Open Road Media in the summer of 2013. Rorem lives in New York City.

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