Thursday Apr 10, 2014
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
THE POWERHOUSE ARENA [Dumbo]
37 Main Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
For more information, please call 718.666.3049
RSVP appreciated: RSVP@powerHouseArena.com
Please fill out the “Bookings” form at the bottom of this page.
Shipstead’s follow-up to the widely acclaimed debut novel, and winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize—Seating Arrangements—offers glimpses into the fiercely compelling world of professional ballet. Novelist Adelle Waldman joins Shipstead in conversation.
About Astonish Me:
Astonish Me is the irresistible story of Joan, a young American dancer who helps a Soviet ballet star, the great Arslan Rusakov, defect in 1975. A flash of fame and a passionate love affair follow, but Joan knows that, onstage and off, she is destined to remain in the background. She will never possess Arslan, and she will never be a prima ballerina. She will rise no higher than the corps, one dancer among many. After her relationship with Arslan sours, Joan plots to make a new life for herself. She quits ballet, marries a good man, and settles in California with him and their son, Harry. But as the years pass, Joan comes to understand that ballet isn’t finished with her yet, for there is no mistaking that Harry is a prodigy. Through Harry, Joan is pulled back into a world she thought she’d left behind-back into dangerous secrets, and back, inevitably, to Arslan.
Combining a sweeping, operatic plot with subtly observed characters, Maggie Shipstead gives us a novel of stunning intensity and deft psychological nuance. Gripping, dramatic, and brilliantly conjured, Astonish Me confirms Shipstead’s range and ability and raises provocative questions about the nature of talent, the choices we must make in search of fulfillment, and how we square the yearning for comfort with the demands of art.
About the Author and Moderator:
Maggie Shipstead is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a former Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. Her first novel, Seating Arrangements, was a New York Times best seller, a finalist for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, and the winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction.
Adelle Waldman is a graduate of Brown University and Columbia University’s journalism school. Her debut novel, The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P, was named one of the best books of 2013 by The Economist, NPR, Cosmopolitan, and Salon.com. She worked as a reporter at the New Haven Register and The Cleveland Plain Dealer, and wrote a column for The Wall Street Journal’s Web site. Her articles also have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The New Republic, Slate, and The Wall Street Journal, among other national publications. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
For more information, please contact
powerHouse Arena, 37 Main Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
tel: 212-604-9074 x109
Bookings are closed for this event.