Monday, October 03, 2022

Eleven top fiction books & memoirs about ballet

Martha Anne Toll writes fiction, essays, and book reviews, and reads anything that’s not nailed down. Her debut novel, Three Muses, won the Petrichor Prize for Finely Crafted Fiction. Toll brings a long career in social justice to her work covering BIPOC and women writers. She is a book reviewer and author interviewer at NPR Books, the Washington Post, Pointe Magazine, The Millions, and elsewhere. She also publishes short fiction and essays in a wide variety of outlets. Toll has recently joined the Board of Directors of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation.

[My Book, The Movie: Three Muses; Q&A with Martha Anne Toll]

At Lit Hub Toll tagged eleven of the best fiction books and memoirs about ballet. One title on the list:
The Master’s Muse by Varley O’Connor

In spare lyrical prose, Varley O’Connor fictionalizes the story of Tanaquil Le Clercq, choreographer George Balanchine’s muse and fifth wife. “Tanny” was one of the first ballerinas Balanchine fully trained. Completely smitten, he made her a principal dancer in the New York City Ballet when she was 19. In 1956, while on tour with the company in Copenhagen, Tanny was stricken with polio and spent the rest of her life paralyzed from the waist down. O’Connor does a wonderful job of getting inside Tanny’s head to plumb the emotional fallout from her tragically foreshortened career.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue