Quoted review by Robert Schulslaper, Fanfare Magazine June 2010
"As a young black man growing up in Washington, D.C., George Walker was unfortunately familiar with racial prejudice and its attendant humiliations. And despite leading a distinguished musical life--he's won the Pulitzer Prize, been awarded honorary degrees, served as the head of the music department at Rutgers University, given highly acclaimed concerts as a pianist, and written the most often-performed work by a living American composer (Lyric for Strings)--he's convinced that his career and that of other black classical musicians has been blighted by the same irrational forces. Although such experiences surely have left a bitter residue, Walker's autobiographical recollections are balanced and even-handed; he recounts both triumphs and disappointments in straightforward,almost bare-boned prose that allows the reader to draw his or her own conclusions. That
doesn't mean that he pulls his punches: He doesn't hesitate to bluntly criticize the limitations, as he sees them, of performers, composers, or other influential members of the classical music establishment. He's equally forthcoming with appreciative and affecting reminiscences of those who've helped and encouraged him. Writing of his early life, he compellingly portrays the strong, quiet dignity
of his parents and grandmother, qualities he's obviously imbibed and assimilated as integral parts of his own personality. Short but revealing portraits of famous musicians add a colorful touch. Overall, Walker's autobiography should be of interest to anyone curious about the life and works of a distinguished American composer."