First Year Experience Reading Project (FYER)

The First Year Experience Program, The Honors College, & The University Library
are pleased to announce their collaboration again this year in celebrating
Steve Lopez as the First Year Experience Reading (FYER) 
Project’s author for 2015-16 and his book The Soloist as 
the One Campus One Book (OCOB) selection for 2015-16.



Steve Lopez    

The FYER project features one author each year, and we are very excited about this year’s choice: Steve Lopez. 

Steven M. Lopez is an American journalist who has been a columnist for The Los Angeles Times since 2001.  Lopez has won numerous national journalism awards including the H.L. Mencken and Ernie Pyle awards, and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for columns on elder care and his father's declining health.  A California native, Lopez is the author of three novels and a book of non-fiction, "The Soloist: A Lost Dream, An Unlikely Friendship, And The Redemptive Power of Music."

The OCOB selection, The Soloist, is a national best-seller that won the PEN USA award for literary non-fiction. The Soloist is the true story of the author’s discovery of Nathanial Ayers, a former classical bass student at Julliard, playing his heart out on a two-string violin on Los Angeles' Skid Row.  Deeply affected by the beauty of Ayers music, Lopez took it upon himself to change the prodigy's life-only to find that their relationship would have a profound change on his own life.  The book explores a number of important subjects including mental illness, homelessness, and the power of music.

This collaboration provides a unique opportunity for Cal State L.A. students, faculty, and staff to come together and learn more about this important writer and our own community, as well as connecting with the issues being raised through President Covino’s mental health initiative, Mind Matters.

Please join us again this year on our journey.

Near the end of Spring Quarter we will update our OCOB webpages with more information about Steve Lopez & The Soloist.


We encourage you to consider incorporating The Soloist into your courses next year!  And if you plan to use the book please let us know!

Also, if you are interested in developing a study guide or helping us develop events and learning experiences please contact us: