Skating with Beethoven

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In 1927, the book The House Without Windows was called “almost unbearably beautiful.” The author, Barbara Follett, was only 13.

When Barbara was lonely, the child prodigy would pretend that “that Beethoven, the two Strausses, Wagner, and the rest of the composers are still living, and they go skating with me.” Paul Collins reflects on Barbara’s career and mysterious disappearance, as well as the elusive nature of precocious genius, in his essay “Vanishing Act.”

(via Arts & Letters Daily)


Jill Haberkern has lived in a one-room house made of tombstones and a farmhouse with a walrus head. She currently lives in Berkeley, California, with neither. Her writing has appeared in the Mid-American Review. More from this author →