The Music of Light: The Extraordinary Story of Hikari and Kenzaburo Oe

ISBN 10: 0783802862 / ISBN 13: 9780783802862
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Synopsis: The most popular classical composer of our day was born with a medical deformity so severe that his parents had to fight to keep him alive. They named him Hikari, which means "light"; now in his thirties, with an I.Q. of 65, limited language and motor skills, and an inability to express emotions clearly, Hikari has indeed become a beacon of inspiration. He has miraculous musical gifts, including a phenomenal memory and the ability to compose chamber works that have broken sales records and delighted hundreds of thousands of listeners. His father's boundless love for and devotion to Hikari have been inspirational in more than one way. Kenzaburo Oe has written many novels and essays based on the experience of raising his musical-savant son, and was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1994. Based on exclusive access to the Oe family, as well as interviews with brain specialists and performers of Hikari's music, and including assessments by leading music critics, The Music of Light offers a portrait of uniqueness. Hikari is the only savant known in history who has composed original music. Lindsley Cameron explains how his brain works; how he can express sadness in his music but not with language or his face; and how his musical activities have extended his mental capacities.

Review: In The Music of Light, Lindsley Cameron chronicles the Japanese writer Kenzaburo Oe's remarkable relationship with his son Hikari. Although Hikari was born with a severe brain deformity that resulted in retardation, autism, near-blindness, and poor coordination, he has become an accomplished composer of classical music. Kenzaburo Oe, the winner of the 1994 Nobel Prize for Literature, has written much about Hikari and the rest of his family over the years. Cameron studies the intersections between Oe's life and work in this volume. She also discusses the nature of creativity, the scientific theories about brain injuries, and the history of musical savants.

Oe's close relationship with his son is unusual, especially in Japanese society, where men do not usually get very involved with raising their children. While helping Hikari deal with his health problems, the Oe family struggled to cope with their culture's severe discrimination against disabled people. Cameron describes Hikari's musical development and his amazing ability to memorize songs. Hikari's life story is an inherently fascinating one--a man who cannot express himself very well verbally somehow figured out how to do something most people cannot do: make up songs. Cameron interviewed both men and other family members for this book, and has done a good job of capturing their personalities on paper. Hikari and Kenzaburo Oe influence each other's work tremendously, and the elder Oe's writing and fame have had an enormous impact on the family's life. Fans of Kenzaburo Oe and people who are interested in the roots of creativity will find a lot to like in this book. --Jill Marquis

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Lindsley Cameron
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Book Description Thorndike Press. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Only lightly used. Book has minimal wear to cover and binding. A few pages may have small creases and minimal underlining. Bookseller Inventory # G0783802862I3N00

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Cameron, Lindsley
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Book Description G. K. Hall, Me, 1998. Hard Cover. Book Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. Cover Art (illustrator). X-Library with normal flaws.BOOK CLUB.LARGE PRINT.The hard cover and the jacket has light shelf wear.Light yellowing pages. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Hard Back. Bookseller Inventory # BI 05464

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Book Description G. K. Hall & Company, 1998. Book Condition: Good. A+ Customer service! Satisfaction Guaranteed! Book is in Used-Good condition. Pages and cover are clean and intact. Used items may not include supplementary materials such as CDs or access codes. May show signs of minor shelf wear and contain limited notes and highlighting. Bookseller Inventory # 0783802862-2-4

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