Astonish Me - A novel-logo

Astonish Me - A novel

Maggie Shipstead

From the author of the widely acclaimed debut novel Seating Arrangements, winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction: a gorgeously written, fiercely compelling glimpse into the demanding world of professional ballet and its magnetic hold over two generations. Astonish Me is the irresistible story of Joan, a young American dancer who helps a Soviet ballet star, the great Arslan Rusakov, defect in 1975. A flash of fame and a passionate love affair follow, but Joan knows that, onstage and off, she is destined to remain in the background. She will never possess Arslan, and she will never be a prima ballerina. She will rise no higher than the corps, one dancer among many. After her relationship with Arslan sours, Joan plots to make a new life for herself. She quits ballet, marries a good man, and settles in California with him and their son, Harry. But as the years pass, Joan comes to understand that ballet isn't finished with her yet, for there is no mistaking that Harry is a prodigy. Through Harry, Joan is pulled back into a world she thought she'd left behind-back into dangerous secrets, and back, inevitably, to Arslan. Combining a sweeping, operatic plot with subtly observed characters, Maggie Shipstead gives us a novel of stunning intensity and deft psychological nuance. Gripping, dramatic, and brilliantly conjured, Astonish Me confirms Shipstead's range and ability and raises provocative questions about the nature of talent, the choices we must make in search of fulfillment, and how we square the yearning for comfort with the demands of art. From the Hardcover edition.

From the author of the widely acclaimed debut novel Seating Arrangements, winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction: a gorgeously written, fiercely compelling glimpse into the demanding world of professional ballet and its magnetic hold over two generations. Astonish Me is the irresistible story of Joan, a young American dancer who helps a Soviet ballet star, the great Arslan Rusakov, defect in 1975. A flash of fame and a passionate love affair follow, but Joan knows that, onstage and off, she is destined to remain in the background. She will never possess Arslan, and she will never be a prima ballerina. She will rise no higher than the corps, one dancer among many. After her relationship with Arslan sours, Joan plots to make a new life for herself. She quits ballet, marries a good man, and settles in California with him and their son, Harry. But as the years pass, Joan comes to understand that ballet isn't finished with her yet, for there is no mistaking that Harry is a prodigy. Through Harry, Joan is pulled back into a world she thought she'd left behind-back into dangerous secrets, and back, inevitably, to Arslan. Combining a sweeping, operatic plot with subtly observed characters, Maggie Shipstead gives us a novel of stunning intensity and deft psychological nuance. Gripping, dramatic, and brilliantly conjured, Astonish Me confirms Shipstead's range and ability and raises provocative questions about the nature of talent, the choices we must make in search of fulfillment, and how we square the yearning for comfort with the demands of art. From the Hardcover edition.
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Description:

From the author of the widely acclaimed debut novel Seating Arrangements, winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction: a gorgeously written, fiercely compelling glimpse into the demanding world of professional ballet and its magnetic hold over two generations. Astonish Me is the irresistible story of Joan, a young American dancer who helps a Soviet ballet star, the great Arslan Rusakov, defect in 1975. A flash of fame and a passionate love affair follow, but Joan knows that, onstage and off, she is destined to remain in the background. She will never possess Arslan, and she will never be a prima ballerina. She will rise no higher than the corps, one dancer among many. After her relationship with Arslan sours, Joan plots to make a new life for herself. She quits ballet, marries a good man, and settles in California with him and their son, Harry. But as the years pass, Joan comes to understand that ballet isn't finished with her yet, for there is no mistaking that Harry is a prodigy. Through Harry, Joan is pulled back into a world she thought she'd left behind-back into dangerous secrets, and back, inevitably, to Arslan. Combining a sweeping, operatic plot with subtly observed characters, Maggie Shipstead gives us a novel of stunning intensity and deft psychological nuance. Gripping, dramatic, and brilliantly conjured, Astonish Me confirms Shipstead's range and ability and raises provocative questions about the nature of talent, the choices we must make in search of fulfillment, and how we square the yearning for comfort with the demands of art. From the Hardcover edition.

Language:

English

Narrators:

Rebecca Lowman

Length:

10h 12m


Chapters

Introduction
Introduction

00:11


Chapter 1
Chapter 1

03:27


Chapter 2
Chapter 2

04:09


Chapter 3
Chapter 3

05:33


Chapter 4
Chapter 4

04:40


Chapter 5
Chapter 5

08:40


Chapter 6
Chapter 6

05:03


Chapter 7
Chapter 7

02:52


Chapter 8
Chapter 8

05:49


Chapter 9
Chapter 9

05:18


Chapter 10
Chapter 10

06:08


Chapter 11
Chapter 11

05:05


Chapter 12
Chapter 12

06:58


Chapter 13
Chapter 13

05:12


Chapter 14
Chapter 14

05:12


Chapter 15
Chapter 15

02:34


Chapter 16
Chapter 16

05:25


Chapter 17
Chapter 17

03:37


Chapter 18
Chapter 18

04:29


Chapter 19
Chapter 19

06:27


Chapter 20
Chapter 20

03:28


Chapter 21
Chapter 21

05:57


Chapter 22
Chapter 22

04:08


Chapter 23
Chapter 23

07:16


Chapter 24
Chapter 24

08:34


Chapter 25
Chapter 25

07:07


Chapter 26
Chapter 26

02:45


Chapter 27
Chapter 27

05:12


Chapter 28
Chapter 28

04:57


Chapter 29
Chapter 29

05:55


Chapter 30
Chapter 30

03:57


Chapter 31
Chapter 31

03:39


Chapter 32
Chapter 32

06:03


Chapter 33
Chapter 33

07:20


Chapter 34
Chapter 34

03:04


Chapter 35
Chapter 35

06:40


Chapter 36
Chapter 36

06:11


Chapter 37
Chapter 37

06:25


Chapter 38
Chapter 38

03:30


Chapter 39
Chapter 39

06:49


Chapter 40
Chapter 40

02:49


Chapter 41
Chapter 41

06:06


Chapter 42
Chapter 42

04:31


Chapter 43
Chapter 43

04:23


Chapter 44
Chapter 44

06:33


Chapter 45
Chapter 45

04:40


Chapter 46
Chapter 46

08:29


Chapter 47
Chapter 47

07:57


Chapter 48
Chapter 48

07:40


Chapter 49
Chapter 49

06:04


Chapter 50
Chapter 50

04:35


Chapter 51
Chapter 51

06:32


Chapter 52
Chapter 52

08:36


Chapter 53
Chapter 53

05:18


Chapter 54
Chapter 54

05:19


Chapter 55
Chapter 55

03:57


Chapter 56
Chapter 56

08:23


Chapter 57
Chapter 57

07:52


Chapter 58
Chapter 58

05:55


Chapter 59
Chapter 59

02:58


Chapter 60
Chapter 60

03:45


Chapter 61
Chapter 61

06:08


Chapter 62
Chapter 62

05:12


Chapter 63
Chapter 63

05:05


Chapter 64
Chapter 64

05:14


Chapter 65
Chapter 65

04:36


Chapter 66
Chapter 66

03:20


Chapter 67
Chapter 67

07:54


Chapter 68
Chapter 68

06:58


Chapter 69
Chapter 69

07:22


Chapter 70
Chapter 70

05:08


Chapter 71
Chapter 71

04:56


Chapter 72
Chapter 72

04:39


Chapter 73
Chapter 73

03:23


Chapter 74
Chapter 74

04:42


Chapter 75
Chapter 75

04:53


Chapter 76
Chapter 76

07:27


Chapter 77
Chapter 77

04:54


Chapter 78
Chapter 78

04:14


Chapter 79
Chapter 79

04:02


Chapter 80
Chapter 80

06:15


Chapter 81
Chapter 81

08:10


Chapter 82
Chapter 82

06:38


Chapter 83
Chapter 83

07:53


Chapter 84
Chapter 84

05:27


Chapter 85
Chapter 85

05:15


Chapter 86
Chapter 86

03:55


Chapter 87
Chapter 87

05:05


Chapter 88
Chapter 88

06:28


Chapter 89
Chapter 89

05:41


Chapter 90
Chapter 90

05:59


Chapter 91
Chapter 91

07:00


Chapter 92
Chapter 92

06:53


Chapter 93
Chapter 93

04:19


Chapter 94
Chapter 94

04:03


Chapter 95
Chapter 95

06:50


Chapter 96
Chapter 96

06:54


Chapter 97
Chapter 97

03:17


Chapter 98
Chapter 98

06:17


Chapter 99
Chapter 99

07:33


Chapter 100
Chapter 100

07:52


Chapter 101
Chapter 101

08:13


Chapter 102
Chapter 102

05:51


Chapter 103
Chapter 103

05:29


Chapter 104
Chapter 104

05:57


Chapter 105
Chapter 105

06:24


Chapter 106
Chapter 106

04:31


Chapter 107
Chapter 107

05:31


Chapter 108
Chapter 108

05:48


Chapter 109
Chapter 109

06:13


Chapter 110
Chapter 110

01:39


Chapter 111
Chapter 111

00:30