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Extended Audio Sample Girl through Glass: A Novel, by Sari Wilson Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Sari Wilson Narrator: Tavia Gilbert Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In the roiling heat of the summer of 1977, eleven-year-old Mira enters the high-stakes world of New York City ballet, a fiercely competitive world of struggle, obsession, passion for beauty—and something sinister that will challenge her, protect her, and ultimately take her innocence.

After her parents’ divorce and a childhood spent between her father’s tony Upper East Side dwelling and her mother’s disordered Brooklyn habitat, young Mira becomes fascinated with the perfectionism, power, and promise of glory that ballet offers. Over the course of four years, she hones her talent, becoming a dancer for Balanchine—one of “Mr. B’s girls”—eventually attracting the attention of forty-seven-year-old Maurice, a reclusive, charismatic balletomane who haunts the city’s dance studios and takes the young girl under his wing. As Mira plunges deeper into the ballet world, her relationship with Maurice intensifies, isolating her and taking her to darker and darker places within herself.

In the present day, Kate, a professor of dance at a midwestern college, embarks on a risky affair with a student that threatens to obliterate her career and upend the life she has painstakingly created for her reinvented self. When she receives a letter from a man she has long thought dead, Kate is hurled back to the dramas of a past she thought she had left behind.

This enthralling literary debut is told in interweaving narratives that move between past and present, illuminating the costs and privileges of ambition and excellence and whether the sacrifices we make for an ideal destroy us—or save us.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Before now we almost knew that American ballet, after Balanchine, had—has—something savage and cruel at its heart…But only a writer of very remarkable gifts could have the stylistic brilliance, the athletic daring, speed, power of ellipsis, the leap—to tell this dark story correctly and to bring to life its principals: the crippled, romantic old man of a mentor figure and the beautiful, damaged young girl he shapes. In her stunning first novel, Sari Wilson has done just this.”

    Jaimy Gordon, National Book Award–winning author

  • “Powerful. Gripping. Incandescent…As powerful storytelling kept me turning the pages, Wilson’s extraordinary voice whispered to me about the things that both bind and divide us: desire, ambition and love. This book will stay in my heart for a long time.”

    Jean Kwok, New York Times bestselling author

  • “A former ballet student, Wilson skillfully details the world of her teenage dancer…but the book’s subject is less the ballet itself than the costs of early virtuosity—the feeling of being propelled by a force you don’t understand and can’t control—and the dangerous intoxication of the perfect, weightless moments when everything but ‘air, motion, height’ falls away.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Wilson pens an intense debut that gives readers a glimpse into the world of classical ballet. She cleverly weaves storylines from 1977 and the present day to provide a raw account of this unique lifestyle and all of the determination and heartbreak that go along with it.”

    RT Book Reviews

  • “A nimble, nuanced psychological drama that leaps through time and place with an appropriate and assured agility. Once a ballerina herself, Wilson speaks with vibrant authority and acute vulnerability as she exposes the conflicted and competitive behind-the-scenes world of professional ballet.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “A uniformly engrossing look into the fabled world of hypercompetitive 1970s ballet…The plot ricochets toward a surprising, and bittersweet, merging of Kate’s and Mira’s stories. Wilson writes lovingly of ballet and elevates the coming-of-age story with a dark undercurrent about the cost of obsession.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “An engaging tale of ballet, obsession, and consequences…An absorbing novel, rich with detail both about ballet and New York…Recommended for readers who appreciate complex characters and a carefully crafted style.”

    Library Journal

  • “This portrayal of a ballerina’s transformation and sacrifice burns with the beauty of fire: it’s powerful, it’s destructive, and it dares you to try and look away.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Sari Wilson explores the beauty and complexity of time and the emergence of a woman’s identity. This engrossing story, told with great artistry, captures the romance and rigor of art making. Sari’s prose is balletic: elegant, musical, and captivating.”

    Ruth Ozeki, prizewinning author of A Tale for the Time Being

  • “A debut novel of exceptional daring and verve, Sari Wilson’s Girl through Glass is a chilling, evocative portrait of the 1970s New York dance world and the young lives it consumed.”

    Kate Walbert, author of Our Kind National Book Award finalist

  • “While Sari Wilson’s take on the New York City dance scene is pungent and vivid and slyly satirical, Girl through Glass is not a novel about dance. For we never lose sight of the girl—eleven-year-old Mira Able, supremely gifted, mentored and groomed and fêted…and desired. This novel of a girl who grows up way too soon is deftly plotted and beautifully written and is about as suspenseful and affecting as a coming-of-age story can be.”

    Daniel Orozco, author of Orientation

  • “Sari Wilson has created a dark and beautiful world in these pages filled with complex and fascinating characters. Girl through Glass is an impressive debut novel that will thrill readers with its steadily mounting tension, which builds, layer upon layer, to a surprising and satisfying conclusion.”

    John Searles, author of Help for the Haunted

  • “Few novels have affected me as deeply as Sari Wilson’s Girl through Glass. Wilson writes with an insider’s authority of both the closed, cult-like world of ballet and the grim, crime-riddled New York of the 1970s, but this book’s real pleasures lie in the depth of her characterizations.”

    Joanna Rakoff, author of My Salinger Year

  • Girl through Glass explores a lost New York through the eyes of a gifted young dancer struggling to harness the ecstatic power she wields—over her audience, her family, and the grown man who wants to make her his muse. Lush with the shame and exhilaration that lie at the lip of adolescence, Sari Wilson’s debut novel bravely explores the risks of celebrating precocity.”

    Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, author of Bittersweet

  • A Millions.com Pick for Most Anticipated Books of 2016
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month for February 2016
  • A New York Times Pick for First Novels, the Shortlist of March 2016
  • A 2016 Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize Long-List Selection
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