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3.5 

Dances

By Nicole Cuffy
Dances by Nicole Cuffy digital book - Fable

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Publisher Description

A ballerina at the height of her powers becomes consumed with finding her missing brother in this “striking debut” (Oprah Daily).

“A compelling novel about the spiritual and bodily costs of the dogged pursuit of art.”—Raven Leilani, author of Luster


LONGLISTED FOR THE CAROL SHIELDS PRIZE FOR FICTION • LONGLISTED FOR THE PEN/HEMINGWAY AWARD

At twenty-two years old, Cece Cordell reaches the pinnacle of her career as a ballet dancer when she’s promoted to principal at the New York City Ballet. She’s instantly catapulted into celebrity, heralded for her “inspirational” role as the first Black ballerina in the famed company’s history. Even as she celebrates the achievement of a lifelong dream, Cece remains haunted by the feeling that she doesn’t belong. As she waits for some feeling of rightness that doesn’t arrive, she begins to unravel the loose threads of her past—an absent father, a pragmatic mother who dismisses Cece’s ambitions, and a missing older brother who stoked her childhood love of ballet but disappeared to deal with his own demons.

Soon after her promotion, Cece is faced with a choice that has the potential to derail her career and shatter the life she’s cultivated for herself, sending her on a pilgrimage to both find her brother and reclaim the parts of herself lost in the grinding machinery of the traditional ballet world.

Written with spellbinding beauty and ballet’s precise structure, Dances centers around women, art, and power, and how we come to define freedom for ourselves.

32 Reviews

3.5
Slightly Smiling Face“as a current dancer this book hit me deep! it was written so beautifully and I 10/10 would recommend.”
Characters change and growMulti-layered charactersBeautifully writtenDescriptive writingBeautiful settingFeel good
Slightly Smiling Face
Diverse charactersBeautifully written

About Nicole Cuffy

Nicole Cuffy is a D.C.-based writer with a BA from Columbia University and an MFA from The New School. She is a lecturer at the University of Maryland and American University. Her work can be found in Mason’s Road, The Master’s Review Volume VI (curated by Roxane Gay), Chautauqua, and Blue Mesa Review, and her chapbook, Atlas of the Body, won the Chautauqua Janus Prize and was a finalist for the Black River Chapbook Competition. When she is not writing, she is reading, and when she is not reading, she is probably dancing.

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