by Julie HaleFebruary, 2004
This glittering biographical novel tells the story of Rudolf Nureyev, one of the 20th century's greatest ballet dancers and an international star done in by his own decadent lifestyle. Offering a kaleidoscopic vision of Nureyev, the book is narrated by the people who knew him, from Anna Vasileva, his first ballet instructor, to Victor, a gay gigolo. The book unfolds over the course of four decades, moving with ease from the Soviet Union and the upheaval of World War II to the excesses of '80s New York. Among the famous stars who make appearances are Nureyev's frequent partner, ballerina Margot Fonteyn; Andy Warhol and John Lennon. Energetic and stylish, McCann's book captures the mystery, genius and exoticism of Nureyev, a one-of-a-kind artist and celebrity whose legacy lingers. A reading group guide is available online at www.picadorusa.com.