Where the Heart Beats: John Cage, Zen Buddhism, and the Inner Life of ArtistsWhere the Heart Beats: John Cage, Zen Buddhism, and the Inner Life of Artists by Kay Larson My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m no expert on John Cage or Zen Buddhism, so I’m not a good person to speak to the accuracy of the material in this book. But Kay Larson provides a very accessible and inspired look at the life of an artist, who found peace and inspiration in the teachings of DT Suzuki, and how he went on to be a formative influence on postmodern art. The story of Cage’s relationship with Merce Cunningham and their inner circle of friends and artists was lovingly told. One of my favorite parts of the book was Larson’s discovery of a set of cards that were typed up for each meeting of “The Club”, which was a gathering of artists and thinkers in Greenwich Village . She used these postcards to piece together the chronology of Cage’s development around the time of his Lecture on Something and Lecture on Nothing. There are so many great Cage quotes scattered throughout the book too. I wish I read the book on my kindle so I could have highlighted more, and included some of them here. I’ve had a copy of Silence for years, and I think I’m going to reread some of it again, now that I know so much more about the context of John Cage’s life. If you’ve ever spent some time living in New York City, this book is bound to make you miss it just a little bit.