Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Martha Schabas' debut, Various Positions, sees ballet and sex as a case en pointe

I'll be writing about Various Positions on Thursday, but in the meantime, I wrote a profile of Martha Schabas for the National Post. It's in today's paper, or you can check it out on The Afterword. Here's a little bit to start you off:
When Martha Schabas was five years old, she took her first ballet class, kicking off a decade of intense training and dreams of becoming a ballerina. Then, at 15, she was kicked out of the National Ballet School’s summer program for having bad feet — her arch wasn’t pronounced and she had a low instep. “I just didn’t fit into the ideal,” she says. “That very precise balletic ideal.”

Although she quit ballet after that, Schabas has now returned to the National Ballet School in her debut novel, Various Positions. Despite its setting and the balletic ambitions of Georgia, the 14-year-old central character, Schabas didn’t set out to write a ballet novel. Initially Georgia was older, but as Schabas started to dig into the issues of feminism that interested her, she says the character just started getting younger.
Keep reading...

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