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In a standout debut for the #MeToo era, a young pianist devotes herself to her art—and to the demanding, charismatic teacher she idolizes. Private lessons CYNTHIA SALAYSAY dy ; | are otto ees eects cee hard she works or how well she plays, it seems impossible gein Pauls approval. let alone his affect \ Salaysay composes @ moving, beautifull written portrait of rigorous perfectionism, sexual awakening, and the challenges of selt-acceptance. Timely and vital, Private Lessons delves into a complic and cukural differences, with honesty and grace, jon, Author Cynthia | A ted student/teacher relationship, as well as class CYNTHIA SALAYSAY holds a 7 bachelor’s degree in English from University of California, Berkeley, and has workshopped her fiction at Tin House. She has written food and culture antcles for the San Francisco Examiner, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, the East (On sale May 12,2020 Bay Express, and Civil Eats. Currently, . He: 978-1.5362-0960-0 she works as a Reik’ practitioner and $17.99($23.99 CAN) an operating-room nurse in Oakland, Ako available as an e-book and in audio Californie. This is her frst novel Age 14 and up | 320 pages “An honest and insightful coming-of-age story. Claire’s journey is alternately painful and empowering, infused with subtle grace and pulled along by the driving and redemptive love of music.” Sara Zarr, author of The Lucy Variations e Hprivatelessons CANDLEWICK PRESS ‘ona candleseckcom A note from CYNTHIA SALAYSAY Private Lessons came in the wake of a bad breakup. It was not an easy, picture-perfect time-t fel fragile. |had to get a new place to live, a new job, and new friends, but there was a lot of beauty in my life all the same. | was growing healthier and happier, and I was discovering that | could write. |had always wanted to be a writer. Now had the grit and determination to do it, Claire's story appeared in my life one morning in my new apartment, about a year after my breakup. | was ecstatic to find that | could write on land on about a young girl who falls in love with a manipulative piano teacher. To her | gave the dificult lessons | learned from being in an abusive relationship. |also gave her the quiet strength it took to heal Claire sees herself as ordinary; she feels the color of her skin is ordinary. Itis a surprise to her that people don't feel the same way about her. ‘As a Filipino-American, she experiences slights and indignities that let her know that she doesn't ft in, She's seen as smaller, exotic, perhaps submissive. Though none of the people who see or treat her this way would describe themselves as racist, these impressions, coupled with knowing that her immigrant family has fewer resources than other families, have consequences on her psyche. {really wanted reacers to look deeply and with compassion at Claire's lif, in pare so that they could feel how racism makes her feel, but more importantly because I wanted readers o feel what abuse does and take her side-the side of the abused instead ofthe abuser. Sexual abuse and harassment is often spoken of with fear and disgust. Our society Continues to question the vitim, as if they/te at fault, out of fear and avoidance of the subject itself. Peoole don't wantit happening to them, and they don’t want 19 be blamed foi either. This book isin response tothat. Claire grows tremendously as she begins the slow work of healing, She has the love and support of her family and friends, and she continues to feel magic at the piano. Itis her feline and comfort, how she chooses to express her deepest feelings and let them go. She gives everything te it, and it gives back, too, and for that she feels reverence. This ea story of abuse, one that | hope will spark conversations andi help girls look more deeply at themselves and their own relationships, and also a story of empowerment. | hope that readers find their own courage, confidence, and strength é CANDLEWICK PRESS ‘wont candlesckcom