White Swan, Black Swan

Adrienne Sharp

Random House, 2001

Agent: Sandra Dijkstra

The world’s most famous choreographer becomes infatuated with a talented young dancer who proves both siren and muse . . . A rising star plunges into an affair with a principal but finds that the ecstasy on the stage cannot be matched in the bedroom . . . A dying legend reflects on the fading beauty of a life in motion, lost to everything but memory. In this beguiling collection, Adrienne Sharp captures the essence and passion of ballet and its fleeting world and translates them into unforgettable stories. White Swan, Black Swan heralds the arrival of a unerringly graceful new voice in American fiction.

"Adrienne Sharp writes with breathtaking perception about the needs and desires of the body, its resilience and its vulnerabilities. Art, passion, history intersect with burning immediacy in this beautifully crafted book."
Chitra Divakaruni, author of The Mistress of Spices

Author of The Mistress of Spices“A stunningly lovely book about dance and dancers and their hard-won moments of beauty. . . . I can’t believe it’s a debut work–it’s brilliantly clear, dramatically swift, and knowingly conceived.”
John Casey, author of The Half-Life of Happiness

“A series of intimate portraits of the men and women who sacrifice their chances at ordinary happiness . . . as they strive to transform themselves into visions of near-celestial beauty and grace. . . . White Swan, Black Swan compels us to consider the troubled hearts and souls inside the agile bodies that astonish us with their ability to defy gravity and to exceed our wildest dreams of what the body can do.”
O Magazine

“In this breathtaking suite of short stories, Sharp, herself a dancer and ardent observer of the ballet world, adroitly captures the elegance, magic, sexuality, obsession, ambition, sacrifice, vulnerability, and pain that define dancers’ lives . . . . Most ballets are about thwarted longing and love, and so are Sharp’s masterfully choreographed dramas.”
—Booklist (starred)

“The dance world becomes palpably real in this accomplished debut collection by Sharp.”
Publishers Weekly

“Luminous debut collection…where bodies, loves, and lives are sacrificed to an art that often seems more punishment than reward…A well-accomplished…debut.”
Kirkus Review