Synopses & Reviews
A “heroic” biography of John Cage and his “awakening through Zen Buddhism” — “a kind of love story” about a brilliant American pioneer of the creative arts who transformed himself and his culture (The New York Times
Composer John Cage sought the silence of a mind at peace with itself — and found it in Zen Buddhism, a spiritual path that changed both his music and his view of the universe. “Remarkably researched, exquisitely written,” Where the Heart Beats weaves together “a great many threads of cultural history” (Maria Popova, Brain Pickings) to illuminate Cage’s struggle to accept himself and his relationship with choreographer Merce Cunningham. Freed to be his own man, Cage originated exciting experiments that set him at the epicenter of a new avant-garde forming in the 1950s. Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Yoko Ono, Allan Kaprow, Morton Feldman, and Leo Castelli were among those influenced by his ‘teaching’ and ‘preaching.’ Where the Heart Beats shows the blossoming of Zen in the very heart of American culture.
“Heroic…fascinating.” New York Times
“Inspirational…exuberant.” Los Angeles Times
"Revelatory…Where the Heart Beats may not just be the best book written yet about John Cage; it's probably also one of the most substantive-yet-readable entryways into the nexus of 20th-century American art and the immortal qualities of Eastern thought…one of the most profound, not to mention unexpected, gifts imaginable." Slate
"Absorbing…no future commentator on Cage's work or influence will be able to ignore Larson's contribution…a milestone in contemporary cultural criticism." San Francisco Chronicle
"Strange and wonderful...a gloriously rich reading experience, studded with layers upon layers of deeply inspiring and endlessly fascinating paths. One of the best books of the year in any category." NPR.org
About the Author
Kay Larson was the the art critic for New York Magazine for fourteen years and has been a frequent contributor to the New York Times. In 1994, she entered Zen practice at a Buddhist monastery in upstate New York.