The Sugarless Plum

The Sugarless Plum

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by Zippora Karz
     
 

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It started as the perfect story. Zippora Karz was a member of the famed New York City Ballet by the age of eighteen. By twenty she was starring as the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, dancing roles created by Jerome Robbins, and traveling the world. It was the stuff dreams are made of until, at age twenty-one, Karz was diagnosed with diabetes.

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Overview

It started as the perfect story. Zippora Karz was a member of the famed New York City Ballet by the age of eighteen. By twenty she was starring as the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, dancing roles created by Jerome Robbins, and traveling the world. It was the stuff dreams are made of until, at age twenty-one, Karz was diagnosed with diabetes.

Balancing ballet and her blood sugar would be a long and difficult struggle for Karz. In The Sugarless Plum, Karz shares her journey from denial, shame and miseducation about her illness to how she led an active, balanced and satisfying life as an insulin-dependent diabetic and soloist with one of the world's most famous ballet companies. The Sugarless Plum takes readers deep into the heart and soul of a young dancer, and is a remarkable testament to determination and perseverance.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In 1987, when Karz was 21 and dancing in the corps of the prestigious New York City Ballet, she began to suffer constant thirst and dizziness, frequent urination and oozing sores under her arms. After an initial misdiagnosis and months of denying the seriousness of her condition, Karz faced the devastating reality that, as a type 1 diabetic, she would have to take insulin injections for the rest of her life, check her blood-sugar levels at least 10 times a day and was at a high risk for infection and even amputation. Karz details the ups and downs of her childhood, illness and 16-year NYCB career, from a low-blood-sugar episode that almost derailed a performance in Copenhagen to dancing with George Balanchine himself at a School of American Ballet rehearsal; being cast as the Nutcracker's Sugar Plum Fairy; and her promotion to soloist six years after her diagnosis. Karz's prose is simple, and although ballet fans may wish for more insider gossip, Karz offers a satisfying portrait of a dancer making her mark at a competitive world-class company. Diabetics and athletes in particular will gain inspiration from her perseverance, acceptance and control of a debilitating disease. (Nov.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780373892457
Publisher:
Harlequin
Publication date:
01/18/2011
Edition description:
Original
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Zippora Karz danced with the New York City Ballet from 1983 through 1999. She now serves as a teacher and répétiteur for the George Balanchine Trust, rehearsing and staging Balanchine’s choreography for a host of international dance companies. She is also a diabetes spokesperson and educator who regularly addresses major diabetes conferences and organizations worldwide. She lives in Los Angeles, California. Visit her Web site at www.zipporakarz.com.

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Sugarless Plum 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book amd i finished it in two days. I love reading about ballerina's, because I used to dance and as luck would have it, I too, was diagnosed as a Type 1 diabetic when I was 16 years old. So I could really relate to her hypoglycemic episodes and other issues she had when adjusting to being diabetic. It was a easy and enjoyable read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My daughter was a dancer and was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. This book made me realize that this diagnosis is a process. Control is trial and error and develops over time. I loved the inside look at the New York City Ballet.
Kasia_S More than 1 year ago
I always knew that ballet is a very difficult art to master, it requires a lot of sacrifices, discipline and asks to move our bodies in the most unnatural but beautiful way. The lives of ballet dancers are as mysterious to an average person as the chasms of the deepest ocean, but this book provides fascinating and cringe worthy look behind the velvet curtain. These people are intense athletes and with this story Zippora Karz not only exposes her hardships as a dancer but also as a diabetic. Her continuous desire to hider her pain and diseases and using injections for taking her performance to peaks even she shouldn't be attempting were intense and quite frankly hard to read. I felt deep compassion but also a bit of anger that such a bright woman would do this to her own body, but then again artists aren't simple creatures, we have our own quirks and potentials that fascinate others but take a lot out of us. This was a good and inspirational read, and it's great to see people like Karz speak out after years of hiding, not only setting their bodies free but their minds as well, and helping others in the future. - Kasia S.
debbook More than 1 year ago
This was a fascinating, well-written read. Karz takes us into the world of the School of American Ballet, founded by the great George Balanchine, as well as the New York City Ballet. The world of ballet is tough, dancers often perform with sprains and even broken bones. A week off could be a huge setback in a ballerina's career. A mistake in rehearsal could cost a lead role. They learn to ignore pain, which is why it takes Karz so long to seek medical treatment despite her worsening symptoms and near collapse. And when she is finally diagnosed with diabetes, she is diagnosed with the wrong type, which means the wrong treatment. But she is determined to continue to dance while trying to understand this disease, which she feels has taken over her life and threatens her career. She eventually not only learns about it but becomes a spokesperson. This book read very quickly, and is definitely recommended for anyone who loves the ballet. Karz gives a really good overview of the ballet world. I have a new respect for these under appreciated athletes. Even if you can't relate to diabetes, it is about taking control of your own health. my rating 4.5/5 http://bookmagic418.blogspot.com/
Momma_Hunt More than 1 year ago
This is a great biography about a dedicated ballerina who has been struggling with diabetes. This book covers not only Zippora's struggles with her disease but also her struggles in life in general. Having taking years of dance classes I was really drawn into the story of how Karz became a ballerina and her journey to becoming a ballerina. Next as a reader I was then immediately empathetic to her struggle with her disease as well as her ability to learn how to live with this disease and still practice dance. I feel that this book would be great for anyone who is really struggling with any major illness or set back in their life. As a reader you feel that pains and struggles that Zippora goes through while trying to deal with her painful diagnosis and how she is able to overcome her struggles. I think that someone who reads this book can use Zippora as an example of how to deal with those road blocks that stand in your way and still fulfill your dreams. This was a great quick read that most people would enjoy.
Debra_Saturday More than 1 year ago
When thinking of ballet, you think of beautiful costumes, light and lovely women flying through the air with unseen wings and standing on pointe for long minutes at a time. You do not think of the hours of rehearsal, the sore muscles, or the health of the dancers. Dancers perform the ballet flawless and we are left with an image that is.timeless. Ms Katz takes us backstage and not just backstage of the Company but the backstage of her life. Her explorations of life coincide with her adventures of ballet. We can identify with her as young girl becoming a woman even if we have never taken a dance class. Zippora is a testament to all of us to meet a challenge head-on and work through it. Everyone one of us have had feelings of being lost or not feeling quite up to the task, yet to be constantly reminded of Zippora's feelings of inadequacy was a bit tiring. This is a memoir so we do live through her eyes. Even though, I could not quite get into the book, I think most people will enjoy The Sugarless Plum. This is her story and one she is willing to share with others who have diabetes. You can see by her words she encourages everyone to live to their fullest potential no matter what challenges come their way. In fact, her message is, "Passion is what motivates us and gives our life meaning.' Thank you Caitlin of FSB Media for the review copy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really loved this book, so much drama and emotion... I personally know Zippora and honestly I never knew about her exciting and riviting background!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I also am in ballet snd it is hard and it is probally much harder to do it with balencing your blood sugar. Also i met her in San Deigo California for a summer intesive
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im not a fan and i absilutly hated this book