Author(s): Colum McCann
A stunning novel based on the real life of Rudolf Nureyev from an acclaimed author
This novel opens on a battlefield: trudging back from the front through a ravaged and icy wasteland, their horses dying around them, their own hunger rendering them almost savage, the Russian soldiers are exhausted as they reach the city of Ufa, desperate for food and shelter. They find both, and then music and dance. And there, spinning unafraid among them, dancing for the soldiers and anyone else who'll watch him, is one small pale boy, Rudolf. This is Colum McCann's dancer. Rudolf, a prodigy at six years old, who became the greatest dancer of the century, who redefined dance, rewrote his own life, and died of AIDS before anyone knew he had it. This is an extraordinary life transformed into extraordinary fiction by one of the most acclaimed writers of his generation. One kind of masculine grace is perfectly matched to another in Colum McCann's beautiful and daring new novel.
40,000 marketing campaign No.1 in Evening Standard and 4 in Irish Times bestseller lists Shortlisted for the Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award Included in all key trade promotions 'Every year I find two or three books that stand way above the others. This year my special finds will also be bestsellers, Embers by Sandor Marai and Dancer by Colum McCann...Stark, understated, powerful, passionate, clever, truly memorable, I could go on' Sarah Broadhurst's PB Preview for 2003 'My hot tip for the entire year. I believe that Colum McCann's DANCER will become a classic' Sue Morgan, Ottaker's 'McCann's agile, muscular prose creates its own energy and rhythm - he has taken one of the most charismatic characters of the 20th century and created a boldly contemporary novel' Lisa Allardice, Daily Telegraph 'Imagine Anthony Burgess and Richard Holmes collaborating to write a novel, and you have something of the flavour' Martyn Bedford, New Statesman Colum McCann's imagined life of Rudolf Nureyev...sets as high a benchmark for the fiction of 2003 as one could hope for 'Laurence Wareing, The Herald
'The theme of towering celebrity and its attendant vacuity is very well done.' -- Chris Power THE TIMES 'DANCER overflows with vibrant detail and evocative description...McCann's books has a tremendous amount of life and energy.' THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY McCann has achieved a tour de force in his re-imagined life of Rudolf Nureyev... McCann spins a verbal rhapsody out of Nureyev's passions and longings, by turns soulful, flamboyant, in your face. -- Brian Hennigan THE HERALD 'Whether describing the Russian stepppe or New York's bathhouses, McCann's versatility is breathtaking.' -- Elena Seymenliyska THE GUARDIAN McCann's fictionalised biography of ballet legend Rudolf Nureyev met with wide critical acclaim on its January publication and its availability in paperback will open up this remarkable story to a new audience' HEAT 'a mesmerising novel' THE OBSERVER 'McCann's remarkable novel... McCann's prose - nimble, lyrical and wispy - does full justice to the tragic story of a dancer who was the glory of his generation' THE SUNDAY TIMES 'it's a strikingly original one (book), and as apparently effortless as one of Fonteyn's pirouettes or Nureyev's leaps into space. -- Arminta Wallace THE IRISH TIMES 'a truly extraordinary novel' FAST FORWARD 'this is a brilliant portrait of an artist who could soar heavenwards on clay feet.' SUNDAY INDEPENDENT
Colum McCann was born in Dublin in 1965. His fiction has won numerous international awards including the Rooney Prize, the Ireland Fund of Monaco Princess Grace Memorial Award, a Pushcart Prize, and Esquire magazine's Writer of the Year award in 2003. In 2005 he was nominated for an Oscar for Best Short Film. He was recently inducted into the Hennessy Hall of Fame in Dublin. His work has been published in twenty-six languages. He has travelled widely and is based in New York, where he lives with his wife and children.