By Sophie Flack
(Poppy, Hardcover, 9780316126533, 304pp.)
Publication Date: October 2011
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On-stage beauty. Backstage drama.
As a dancer with the ultra-prestigious Manhattan Ballet Company, nineteen-year-old Hannah Ward juggles intense rehearsals, dazzling performances and complicated backstage relationships. Up until now, Hannah has happily devoted her entire life to ballet.
But when she meets a handsome musician named Jacob, Hannah's universe begins to change, and she must decide if she wants to compete against the other "bunheads" in the company for a star soloist spot or strike out on her own in the real world. Does she dare give up the gilded confines of the ballet for the freedoms of everyday life?
Sophie Flack danced with the New York City Ballet from 2000 until 2009. She is currently studying English at Columbia University. Bunheads is her first novel.
"At turns riveting,
hilarious and bittersweet, Bunheads provides a backstage pass into the
world of elite New York City ballet dancers. I got swept up in their routines
and habits, their triumphs and disappointments, and their deep friendships,
which thrive even in the face of fierce competition. This is at once a romantic
page-turner and a thoughtful exploration of just how much true artists are
willing to give up for their art."
- J. Courtney Sullivan, New York Times bestselling author of Commencement and Maine
"A must-read for every young dancer! Sophie Flack takes us inside the world of the professional dancer, sparing nothing, and weaving a poignant, honest coming-of-age story that will keep you turning pages."
-Davida Willis Hurwin, author of A Time For Dancing, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults
"A multi-layered and absorbing good read by a promising debut novelist."
-Kirkus (starred review)
"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."
"In Bunheads, author Sophie Flack takes readers into all the drama, camaraderie, disappointment, jealousy, exultation, and physical and emotional pain in the life of a corps ballet dancer for a prestigious New York ballet company. . . Ms Flack writes with absolutely authority about a lifestyle she herself lived for nine years, and about what happens when lifelong dreams collide with the needs of the heart. "
- Lurlene McDaniel, author of Breathless and A Rose for Melinda
More than 150 writers from 40 events will gather in New York City for PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, April 28 – May 4, 2014.
For its 10th anniversary, the festival celebrates those who have dared to stand ‘on the edge,’ risking their careers, and sometimes their lives, to speak out for their art and beliefs. Join us for a wide range of events, including debates, one-on-one conversations, participatory workshops and performances in venues throughout the city. Use the code PEN14 (use PEN2014 for events at The Public Theater) and receive a 20 percent discount on most events. www.worldvoicesfestival.org