The Unmaking of a Dancer sheds a blistering light on the raw, fiercely competitive and often vicious world of ballet: the truth behind the fiction of Black Swan. It's the story of Joan Brady's life in her own words. Ballet was the first thing Brady was good at; she really was good, too, performing professionally with the San Francisco Ballet at the tender age of fourteen.
A bonus was that lessons and performances kept her away from her unpredictable father and formidable mother. But nobody can stay away for good, and when she finally made it into the New York City Ballet, her mother delivered a career-destroying blow. And yet with the help of the love of her life, Dexter Masters, she found another way of living and the chance for a family of her own.
Joan Brady was born in California and danced with New York City Ballet when she was in her twenties. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Columbia University, Brady now lives in England where she is an author of short stories; articles; reviews; a highly acclaimed autobiography, The Unmaking of a Dancer, and a novel, Theory of War, for which she became the first woman (and first American) to win the Whitbread Book of the Year Award in 1993. She is also the author of the best-selling novel, The Émigré, and Death Comes for Peter Pan, a fictionalized account of an American medical scandal, both published in the U.K. In 2001, she represented England at the Centenary of the Nobel Peace Prize.