The fiddler in the subway : the true story of what happened when a world-class violinist played for handouts– and other virtuoso performances by America’s foremost feature writer

From Jackie Cantwell
author: Weingarten, Gene
The fiddler in the subway : the true story of what happened when a world-class violinist played for handouts– and other virtuoso performances by America’s foremost feature writer 
Mr. Weingarten is the winner of two Pulitzer Prizes for Feature Writing. This is a compilation of 20 essays (some funny, some sad, some thoughtful, all powerful) that have appeared in The Washington Post over the years.  “The Great Zucchini” is an essay, and the stage name for the Washington area’s most successful children’s entertainer.  Washington’s wealthy parents take their children’s birthday parties very seriously. The author succeeds in eliciting how the entertainer is so gifted with preschoolers.  “The armpit of America” could describe many towns, but Battle Mountain, Nevada was chosen for this article.  In Battle Mountain, there’s nothing to do but gamble and drink.  Even the representatives from the Chamber of commerce and the local newspaper can’t find anything good to say about the town.  The more somber essays are “Fear itself”, where the author rides a bus in Jerusalem to try to understand “the psychology of the terrorized”; “The first father” about President Clinton’s biological father; and “Fatal distraction”, about parents who accidentally leave their babies in a hot car.  “The fiddler in the subway” is the account of the day they arranged to have world-class violinist, Joshua Bell, play a Stradivarius violin in the Metro station for spare change. Would anyone notice the virtuoso in their midst?

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