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  Private Lessons


author: Cynthia Salaysay

After seventeen-year-old Claire Alalayís father's death, only music has helped her channel her grief. Claire likes herself best when she plays his old piano, a welcome escape from the sadness ó and her traditional Filipino motherís prayer groups. In the hopes of earning a college scholarship, Claire auditions for Paul Avon, a prominent piano teacher, who agrees to take Claire as a pupil. Soon Claire loses herself in Paulís world and his way of digging into a compositionís emotional core. She practices constantly, foregoing a social life, but no matter how hard she works or how well she plays, it seems impossible to gain Paulís approval, let alone his affection. Author Cynthia Salaysay composes a moving, beautifully written portrait of rigorous perfectionism, sexual awakening, and the challenges of self-acceptance. Timely and vital, Private Lessons delves into a complicated student/teacher relationship, as well as class and cultural differences, with honesty and grace.
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