Bunheads

Sophie Flack. Little, Brown/Poppy, $17.99 (294p) ISBN 978-0-316-12653-3
Exhilaration and drudgery, passion and exhaustion, exist side by side for dancers in the exalted Manhattan Ballet, a world unto itself, which Flack (a former New York City Ballet dancer) brings vividly to life in this strong debut. Supported by her parents, Hannah moves to Manhattan alone at age 14 to pursue her dream; by 19 she is a senior corps dancer. Hannah finds gratification in the self-discipline and relentless cycle of rehearsals and performances, all in pursuit of perfect beauty, presentation, and a possible solo. However, she’s also frustrated with her insular life. The ballet’s dependence on wealthy patrons offers a window into the lives of the super-rich, which depresses Hannah, and the physical demands of her work take a toll on her (“To anyone on the outside... I look thin and willowy.... But in the world of the Manhattan Ballet, my figure is apparently unacceptable”). After meeting Jacob, an NYU student and musician, Hannah feels increasingly torn between her love for ballet and the temptations of normal life. Readers, both dancers and “pedestrians” (the corps’ term for nondancers), will find Hannah’s struggle a gripping read. Ages 15–up. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/05/2011
Release date: 10/01/2011
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-1-907411-27-4
Open Ebook - 144 pages - 978-0-316-19324-5
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-316-19322-1
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-316-12654-0
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