Books on Tape. May 2023. 9:56 hrs. ISBN 9780593663080. $76. F
With lush prose and intricate descriptions of dance, Cuffy’s debut (after the short fiction Atlas of the Body) transports listeners into the world of 22-year-old Black ballerina Cece Cordell. Since her older brother Paul encouraged her to become a dancer, Cece has worked tirelessly, overcoming pain, hunger, and doubt to shine in the cutthroat world of professional ballet. She is indeed living the life she always wanted, having found a prestigious place in the New York City Ballet as the first Black principal ballerina and preparing to dance the role of her dreams. Narrator Samya De Meo fully inhabits Cece’s character, skillfully communicating her encounters with the racism that runs throughout this world. She also captures her struggles with a challenging maternal relationship, an absent father, and her consuming worry for Paul, who has gone missing. Though the lovingly detailed descriptions of dance sequences are occasionally quite technical, they are presented with such focus and care that listeners will likely be entranced.
VERDICT A beautifully written and well-narrated page-turner that takes listeners along as a young ballerina discovers who she is and who she wants to be.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing