When We Danced on Water

When We Danced on Water

4.3 3
by Evan Fallenberg
     
 

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Fromacclaimed author Evan Fallenberg, an exquisitelycrafted debut novel tells the story of a preeminent male ballet dancer in theautumn of his career—a Jew whose talent once saved him from the Nazis—whosefading passion for life will flare back to life after a new romance links himto a younger woman fleeing the ghosts of her past as an Israeli

Overview

Fromacclaimed author Evan Fallenberg, an exquisitelycrafted debut novel tells the story of a preeminent male ballet dancer in theautumn of his career—a Jew whose talent once saved him from the Nazis—whosefading passion for life will flare back to life after a new romance links himto a younger woman fleeing the ghosts of her past as an Israeli Soldier. Fallenberg’s Tel Aviv-set tale that will resonate withreaders of Wladyslaw Szpilman’sThe Pianist, Dalia Sofer’sThe Septembers of Shiraz, and Thrity Umrigar’s The Space Between Us, as well as any whohave been touched by war or diaspora, as two characters’ intimate journeypoignantly explores the pain of fractured pasts, the hope for second chances, thepotency of artistic catharsis, and the certainty that love can conquer all.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Fallenberg's (Light Fell) precise prose moves fluidly between the delicate and the bold, much like the aging dancer whose story he tells with such elegance. At 84, Teo Levin commands the dancers performing his choreography in the Tel Aviv Ballet with an authority and vigor that belies his age. He looks forward to his daily arguments about devotion and passion with 42-year-old artist Vivi, the waitress at a cafe he frequents. Vivi, aimless in the years since she fled preunified Berlin, finds her focus with Teo, at last. In turn, she forces him to share the secrets he's locked away about a shocking six-year period he endured as a young man in Nazi Germany. Fallenberg gives voice to the miasma of grief that overwhelms Teo and Vivi and achieves resonance in his exploration of music as a visual and physical experience. The author also manages to spin mundane discussions of passion and obsession into a rich narrative, skirting sentimentality. His spare style sneaks up on the reader, enhancing the emotionality inherent in his subject. (May)
Edge
“When We Danced on Water is a haunting, beautifully written story about the unlikely friendship between two artists...Fallenberg’s novel is exquisite.”
Jerusalem Post
“Lyrical...an enjoyable read...[Fallenberg is] sensitively attuned to the power of individual words. His fluid prose is carefully composed.”
Miami Herald
“Quietly spectacular and emotionally satisfying...Fallenberg achieves the near-impossible, superbly crafting an altogether unique Holocaust story made plausible through utterly gripping realism.”
Shelf Awareness
“The sensitivity that Fallenberg brings to the writing devoted to Teo’s life as a dancer in the Danish Royal Ballet, in the wings and on stage, is passionately evocative.”
Brooklyn Rail
“Fallenberg’s paradoxical propositions of passion as suffering, and that a life without passion is devoid of meaning, leaves us with an insolvable quandary and a Buddhist diagnosis: life is suffering, one way or another.”
Washington Jewish Week
“Highly recommended.”
Booklist
“As their pasts are revealed, an unexpected blessing bears testament to the beauty and the sustainability of their unconventional relationship.”
Forward
“When We Danced on Water is literary fiction that reads like a long short story. Packed with intensity in both plot and psychology, its effect is disproportionate to its brevity. Reading about Teo and Vivi is like experiencing a lifelong relationship with each protagonist.”
New York Jewish Week
“The poetic [When We Danced on Water] is read easily in a few sittings, and the light of Tel Aviv, the pure beauty and sensuality of dance and the powerful affirmation of life, are deeply felt.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062033321
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
05/17/2011
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
1,373,023
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)

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When We Danced on Water 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
MSBerko More than 1 year ago
This book was wonderful, I did not want it to end. I loved the characters
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A handsome black tom walks in. "May i join?"