Books by Steve Lopez
NPR stories about Steve Lopez
The Soloist director Joe Wright talks about the difficulties of filming on Skid Row and the challenges of portraying mental illness on screen.
Three years ago, journalist Steve Lopez met a homeless musician on skid row in Los Angeles. He soon learned that the man, Nathaniel Ayers, had once been a promising violinist, and that he had left the Juilliard School because of his struggle with mental illness. Ayers is the subject of Lopez's new book, The Soloist.
Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez was strolling through the city when he saw a homeless man playing classical violin. His name, Lopez discovered, is Nathaniel Ayers. And, in addition to musical talent, Nathaniel has schizophrenia.