A Novel

Book - 2003
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This novel opens with a scene of war which is destined to become a classic: trudging back from the front through a ravaged and icy wasteland, their horses dying around them, their own hunger rendering them almost savage, the Russian soldiers are exhausted as they reach the city of Ufa, desperate for food and shelter. They find both, and then music and dance. And there, spinning unafraid among them, dancing for the soldiers and anyone else who¿ll watch him, is one small pale boy, Rudolf. This is Colum McCann¿s dancer. Rudolf, a prodigy at six years old, became the greatest dancer of the century, redefined dance, rewrote his own life, and died of AIDS before anyone knew he had it. This is an extraordinary life transformed into extraordinary fiction by one of the most acclaimed writers of his generation. One kind of masculine grace is perfectly matched to another in Colum McCann¿s beautiful and daring novel.
Publisher: London : Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2003
ISBN: 9781897580295
Branch Call Number: MCC
Characteristics: 291 p


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Sep 05, 2019

I could not put this book down. I loved the way the book was moving it's point of view from each of the rich characters points of view, each in a different voice. So well written!

WVMLStaffPicks Jan 18, 2015

Rudolf Nureyev comes to life in McCann’s “bravo” fictional depiction of the great dancer’s life. The poverty of Nureyev’s early years in a bleak Russian village is the backdrop to his intense desire to twirl and tap and fling himself across the floor, leading to his eventual defection to Paris and betrayal of his family. McCann tells his tale through interwoven voices and we discover Nureyev from many angles and aspects; the larger-than-life dancer, the hedonistic seeker of wealth and pleasure, and the loving son whose deepest sadness was to leave his mother behind when he fled Russia. We meet Margot Fonteyn, his greatest dance partner; Erik Bruhn, his lover who was also a lead dancer; and numerous others, such as Andy Warhol, the Kennedys, Truman Capote, and Jimi Hendrix who all peopled Nureyev’s extravagant and successful career.

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