Author Maggie Shipstead in conversation: “Astonish Me” May 3


May 3 at 7 p.m., Northshire Bookstore Saratoga will host a live interview and book signing with award-winning author Maggie Shipstead. Shipstead will be interviewed by Darlene Myers, the artistic director and choreographer of Northeast Ballet and Myers Dance Center.

Shipstead is the author of the widely acclaimed debut novel “Seating Arrangements,” winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction. Shipstead's new novel is a gorgeously written, compelling glimpse into the demanding world of professional ballet and its magnetic hold over two generations.

“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.

Combining a sweeping, operatic plot with subtly observed characters, Shipstead gives a novel of 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. 

For more information on this or other events, call 682-4200 or 1-855-339-5990, or visit the Northshire Bookstore website at www.northshire.com.



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