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Adrienne Sharp


About the Author

Adrienne Sharp is the author of the short-story collection White Swan, Black Swan, which was a national bestseller. She studied ballet from the age of seven and trained with the prestigious Harkness Ballet in New York City. She received an M.A. from the Johns Hopkins University and was awarded a fellowship in fiction at the University of Virginia.

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Books by Adrienne Sharp

Author Essay

As a teenager, Adrienne Sharp landed a coveted spot at New York’s prestigious Harkness School of Ballet. "The atmosphere," she says, "was brutally intense. All around me were other girls, their hair scraped back, their stick-limbs covered up in leg warmers, worn to keep their muscles warm and to conceal the bodies that were never thin enough." But after months of grueling training, Sharp came to question her good fortune. "One day, while doing grands battements at the barre, I had a traitorous thought, which was simply: I’m sick of doing this.

"So I left ballet and began the task of assembling a regular life – a difficult task when you don’t have the glamorous discipline of tooling the body. I began to write to help me get through it. And when I started to write about ballet, the two halves of my life came together." White Swan, Black Swan – which National Book Award winner John Casey has called "a stunningly lovely book… brilliantly clear, dramatically swift, and knowingly conceived" – choreographs the tension between icy passion on the stage and the messy passion of real life. In the sweat and desire of dance, Sharp finds a potent symbol of our yearning for transformation.

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