Gone : A Girl, a Violin, a Life Unstrung

3.93 (383 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 2 business days
When will my order arrive?


The spellbinding memoir of a violin virtuoso who loses the instrument that had defined her both on stage and off -- and who discovers, beyond the violin, the music of her own voice Her first violin was tiny, harsh, factory-made; her first piece was "Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star." But from the very beginning, Min Kym knew that music was the element in which she could swim and dive and soar. At seven years old, she was a prodigy, the youngest ever student at the famed Purcell School. At eleven, she won her first international prize; at eighteen, violinist great Ruggiero Ricci called her "the most talented violinist I've ever taught." And at twenty-one, she found "the one," the violin she would play as a soloist: a rare 1696 Stradivarius. Her career took off. She recorded the Brahms concerto and a world tour was planned. Then, in a London cafe, her violin was stolen. She felt as though she had lost her soulmate, and with it her sense of who she was. Overnight she became unable to play or function, stunned into silence. In this lucid and transfixing memoir, Kym reckons with the space left by her violin's absence. She sees with new eyes her past as a child prodigy, with its isolation and crushing expectations; her combustible relationships with teachers and with a domineering boyfriend; and her navigation of two very different worlds, her traditional Korean family and her music. And in the stark yet clarifying light of her loss, she rediscovers her voice and herself.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 227 pages
  • 145 x 213 x 23mm | 318g
  • Crown Publishing Group (NY)
  • English
  • 0451496078
  • 9780451496072
  • 450,342

Review quote

"Riveting...Her story of bereavement and resilience, and the determination to pursue one's art no matter what obstacles stand in one's way, is as enchanting as Kym's recording of a Brahms concerto." --Harper's Bazaar "The hours fell away as I read this spellbinding tale of love, loss, and above all devotion to art. You probably don't know what it feels like to be a child prodigy or a world-class violinist, but you will after reading this luminous memoir. And though you may already know what it means to grieve and to love, you've never had the chance to experience these things through the far-seeing eyes of Min Kym." --SUSAN CAIN, author of Quiet "A pellucid memoir of letting go and coming to terms." --Kirkus Reviews "Kym's evocative writing style will make even nonmusicians appreciate her passion for music and for her violin." --BOOKLIST Praise from the UK "Intense, elegiac and completely mesmerizing....A beautifully pitched memoir which hits many different registers" --The Bookseller (Book of the Month) "A heart-wrenching, raw and deeply intimate tale that's also a poignant glimpse into the life of a child prodigy" --Glamour "A remarkable and original memoir....Thrilling" --Observer "A remarkable story of love and loss....Also a gripping thriller that contains a hint of scandal, as well as money, villains and a secret" --Sunday Times "Fascinating....A tragic musical love affair...told in admirably lucid and uncluttered prose" --The Arts Deskshow more

About Min Kym

MIN KYM, born in South Korea and raised in the UK, began playing the violin at the age of six. At sixteen, she became the youngest ever foundation scholar at the Royal College of Music; at twenty-seven, the first recipient of the Heifetz Prize. The legendary conductor Sir Georg Solti praised her "exceptional natural talent, mature musicality, and mastery of the violin." Her Sony recording of the Brahms Violin Concerto with Sir Andrew Davis and the Philharmonia Orchestra was released in 2010. She lives in London.show more

Rating details

383 ratings
3.93 out of 5 stars
5 30% (114)
4 42% (159)
3 22% (86)
2 5% (19)
1 1% (5)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X