What You Become in Flight: A Memoir

What You Become in Flight: A Memoir

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Author / Contributor(s): Ellen O'Connell Whittet
Publisher: Melville House Publishing
Date: 2020
Binding:

Trade paperback (US). 240p.
5.60 in. x 8.10 in.

Condition: NEW

Poignant and exquisite--The Los Angeles Review of Books
An inspiring and powerful book--Booklist
A genuinely absorbing read--Kirkus
Revelatory, honest, and wondrous.--Chanel Miller, author of Know My Name

A lyrical and meditative memoir on the damage we inflict in the pursuit of perfection, the pain of losing our dreams, and the power of letting go of both.

With a promising career in classical ballet ahead of her, Ellen O'Connell Whittet was devastated when a misstep in rehearsal caused a career-ending injury. Ballet was the love of her life. She lived for her moments under the glare of the stage-lights--gliding through the air, pretending however fleetingly to effortlessly defy gravity.

Yet with a debilitating injury forcing her to reconsider her future, she also began to reconsider what she had taken for granted in her past. Beneath every perfect arabesque was a foot, disfigured by pointe shoes, stuffed--taped and bleeding--into a pink, silk slipper. Behind her ballerina's body was a young girl starving herself into a fragile collection of limbs. Within her love of ballet was a hatred of herself for struggling to achieve the perfection it demanded of her.

In this raw and redemptive debut memoir, Ellen O'Connell Whittet explores the silent suffering of the ballerina--and finds it emblematic of the violence that women quietly shoulder every day. For O'Connell Whittet, letting go of one meant confronting the other--only then was it possible to truly take flight.