Bright Burning Stars


By A.K. Small

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 “A compulsively readable story. I was breathless and battling tears up until the very last stunning turns onstage and beyond. A dazzling, heart-wrenching debut.” —Nova Ren Suma, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Walls Around Us

Would you die for the Prize?

Best friends Marine Duval and Kate Sanders have trained since childhood at the Paris Opera Ballet School, where they’ve forged an inseparable bond through shared stories of family tragedies and a powerful love for dance. When the body of a student is found in the dorms just before the start of their final year, Marine and Kate begin to ask themselves how far they would go for the ultimate prize: to be named the one girl who will join the Opera’s prestigious corps de ballet. Would they cheat? Seduce the most talented boy in the school, dubbed the Demigod, hoping his magic will make them shine, too? Would they risk death for it? Neither girl is sure.
But then Kate gets closer to the Demigod, even as Marine has begun to capture his heart. And as selection day draws near, the competition—for the Prize, for the Demigod—becomes fiercer, and Marine and Kate realize they have everything to lose, including each other.

Bright Burning Stars is a stunning, propulsive story about girls at their physical and emotional extremes, the gutting power of first love, and what it means to fight for your dreams.


Part one

Fall Term



We stood outside the circular studio in the apex of the dance annex. Some of us obsessively rose up and down in first position to break the soles of our shoes, while others, like the boys, tucked their T-shirts into their tights and cracked their necks for luck. I didn't do anything but clutch Kate's hand. Kate and I always held hands before the weekly générales. But before I could ask her what she thought the new ratings would be, who would outshine whom on The Boards after only a week and four days of ballet classes and rehearsals in our final year at Nanterre, my name was called first. A bad omen: in six years of dancing here, the faculty had never switched us out of alphabetical order before. Isabelle, The Brooder, always started. I danced third.

"Break a leg," Kate said in English before I stepped into the studio, which made me smile because saying things in her mother tongue was Kate's way of showing love.

Inside the vast round room, three judges—judging deities really—sat erect behind a long folding table. Valentine Louvet, the director, was on the left, her dark hair twisted into a loose knot and rings adorning her fingers. She would sometimes look up at the giant skylight and I would swear that her lips moved, that she discussed students with Nijinsky's ghost through the thick glass. Francis Chevalier, the ballet master, an older man with sweat stains radiating from under his arms, was on the right. While you danced, he rhythmically jabbed the tip of his cane into the floor. In the middle sat The Witch, aka Madame Brunelle, in glasses and a tight bun. When she disliked a student's movement, which was almost always, we all whispered that wormlike silver smoke seeped from her nostrils and her ears.

I didn't look them in the eyes for fear of turning to salt. Instead, I hurried to the yellow X that marked center, taking note of all the mirrors that wrapped around me like gauze. I tried not to criticize my reflection, how I was one kilogram fatter than when I'd last performed in May. I'd found out earlier that morning, courtesy of Mademoiselle Fabienne, our nurse and school nutritionist. Weigh-ins here were like random drug tests. You were called and asked to step onto the beastly scale whenever faculty felt like it. Now, all I could do was suck in my stomach and pray it didn't affect my score. I placed my right foot on the tape, my left in tendu behind, then waited for the pianist's introduction.

As I offered the judges my most heartfelt port de bras, I concentrated on the ivory of my leotard, an atrocious color on me, yet a coveted symbol of my new elite rank. Seven other sixteen-year-old rat-girls and I had risen to First Division. The variation we were to perform today was obscure, from The Three Musketeers, but I didn't mind. Actually, I preferred low-profile dances. The pressure somehow felt less intense. I also liked the three-count waltz, the way the notes filled up inside me, the rush of the C major melody, all making me zigzag across the studio. Music was why I kept going, my ticking heart. As the piano filled the air, my arms felt fluid, my balances sharp, and my leaps explosive. Even my hunger diminished. I steered myself from left to right, then from front to back. My spirits lifted and my nerves calmed. Vas-y. I can do this, I thought. And then I remembered to give the judges my stage smile. Maybe I'll rise from Number 3 to Number 2. During a slow triple pirouette, I held my foot above my knee, balanced, and stuck my landing in perfect fourth position, the number 2 floating like an angel's halo above my head.

But then I forgot to anticipate the piano's shift in keys, the sudden acceleration. Realizing I was an eighth of a note off, I skipped a glissade to catch up to my saut de chat. Ne t'en fais pas, I told myself. Adjust. Yet, at once, The Witch stood up and snapped her fingers, silencing the music.

"I thought you were here because of your auditory gift, Duval," Madame Brunelle said. "Don't students call you The Pulse?"

I looked down at my feet. I hadn't gone through three-fourths of the variation.

"They must be wrong. Would you like to have someone else come in and demonstrate? Teach you whole notes from half notes?"

"No," I whispered.

"Miss Sanders!" Madame Brunelle yelled.

Kate poked her head inside the studio. A joke, I thought. Kate was a dynamic ballet dancer but was well known for her lack of rhythm.

"Mademoiselle Duval needs help with her waltz tempo. Would you run the variation through for her?"


Kate nodded. She tiptoed into the studio, setting herself on the X the way I had done earlier.

"Shadow her, Duval," Madame Brunelle ordered.

She snapped her fingers and the pianist began again.

I danced behind Kate. We moved in unison, gliding into long pas de basques, arms extended. Kate seemed weightless, her heels barely touching the ground. A genuine smile fluttered on her lips. Her ivory leotard fitted her long narrow frame like skin. Blue crystal teardrops dangled from her ears as she spun. They glittered like fireflies. All of Kate glittered. The afternoon sun poured in from the skylight, lighting her up like a flame. The variation lasted a million years. At every step, my face grew hotter. The studio door had been left wide open, so I saw in the mirror's reflection that other First Division dancers were peering inside and watching our odd duet. A wave of humiliation nearly toppled me. Madame Brunelle did not stop the music this time. She waited for Kate and me to finish with our révérence, then she dismissed us with a flick of her finger.

I ducked out of the studio into the stairwell and didn't wait for Kate. I could have sought refuge in the First Division dressing rooms but that was too obvious a hiding place, so I rushed down three flights of stairs and into the courtyard. A mild September breeze blew. I fought back tears. It would have been easier, I thought, if The Witch had picked someone else. Anyone else. But Kate? Pitting me against my best friend? I wished I could keep walking past the trees, alongside the fence, out of the gates, down the Allée de la Danse, to the Métro, all the way home to the center of Paris and my mother's boulangerie. There, inside with the warmth and the sugary smells, I would find a tight hug, an "It's okay, chérie. You don't have to do this unless you want to." But I knew I wouldn't. I'd have to go back to the dorms to change into street clothes or at least take off my pointe shoes and then I'd see Oli's battered demi pointes on my bed. Plus, I'd come this far. Hadn't I? Only 274 days until the final Grand Défilé. Judgment Day: when everyone in the top division, except for two strikingly gifted students—one female, one male—got fired. I plopped down into the middle of the courtyard and found the sky. How could I have messed up on tempo? I closed my eyes and inhaled.

"Hey!" Kate yelled a minute later.

I started.

She stood at the entrance of the courtyard, breathing hard. "Do you think you could have gone a little faster?" she said, crossing her arms. She was still in her leotard, tights, and pointe shoes. Her neck flushed bright red from running. Wisps of blond hair framed her face. "You hurtled down the stairs like a bat out of hell, M. I thought you were going to tumble and fall."

Bat out of hell? I nearly corrected her and said that here we used comme un bolide—like a rocket—but instead I replied, voice sharp, "Too bad I didn't."

"You don't mean it," she said. "Mistakes happen. You're only human."

Kate sat down beside me. She smelled woodsy, even after she danced. We watched as pigeons flittered around the bright white buildings. On our left were the dorms with their common rooms at the bottom. In front, the dance annex loomed. It was known for its grand staircase, bay windows, cafeteria, and Board Room, where all big decisions were made. On the right was the academic wing with classrooms and faculty offices. Little pathways led from one building to the others, with awnings in case of rain. If I turned around, I could peek at the high concrete wall hidden behind oak trees. Sometimes I wondered if the barrier was there to keep strangers from trespassing or rats from fleeing.

Kate squeezed my ankle then flashed me her best smile. "The Witch is an asshole. Seriously. Don't sweat it."

At her touch, my eyes filled. The tempo mix-up hadn't been Kate's fault. Only mine. I quickly wiped the tears with the back of my hand.

"Have I told you that I dig wearing ivory?" Kate said. "Last night, I called my dad and tried to explain it to him. How good it felt to parade around in this sublime color. I said it was like receiving the freaking Medal of Honor but he didn't get it."

"Of course not." I shook my head.

And just like that, the weird moment between us, the resentment I'd felt at having to dance behind her, passed.

I was about to tell her that after what had happened in the circular studio I would probably never wear ivory again, when younger rats came out into the courtyard, disturbing our privacy. Everyone always whispered about everyone else while waiting for ratings. Within the hour, the Board Room would open. Rankings would be posted on the wall. Rats who were rated below fifth place might be sent home. Now and again, I'd see a parent waiting by the school entrance and the wretched sight would make me flinch. But Kate, who was always at my side, would loop an arm around me and say, "Face it, M. Not everyone is cut out for this." Her thick skin soothed me today.

"God, I can't stand the sitting around," Kate said. "Let's play Would You."

"I thought you and I banned that game," I replied.

Kate laughed. "Things don't go away just because you want them to, Miss Goody Two-shoes. Or because the stupid rules say so."

I slapped her shoulder.

"Ouch. Loosen up. I go first," she said. "Would you die for The Prize?"

The Prize. What every rat-girl and rat-boy was after: the large envelope with a red wax stamp on the back, a single invitation to become part of the Paris Opera's corps de ballet. The thought of seeing that envelope made me dizzy with possibility. I almost said "yes" but she cut me off.

"If I close my eyes," Kate said, "I feel the envelope's weight in my hands, the warm wax beneath my thumbs. It's damn near euphoric."

I looked away. Kate's hunger for success, for being the Chosen One, was sometimes so acute that it frightened me. "Are you asking because of Yaëlle?"

The Number 3 rat from last year, a sweet girl from Brittany, once our roommate, had been found last May in her ballet clothes, lying atop her twin bed in her tiny single, bones protruding at strange angles, eyes sunk deep in their sockets, dead a few days before Le Grand Défilé. She'd starved herself in the name of The Prize. Ever since, we'd all been on edge. Summer hadn't changed the mood. If anything, getting back together after a few months away had heightened the sense of dread.

"You're not answering my question."

"No," I decided. "I wouldn't die for The Prize. Would you?"

"Yes," Kate said. "Absolutely."

There was no hesitation in her voice.

"I've got another," she said. "Would you hurt The Ruler for The Prize?"

Gia Delmar, The Ruler. Always Number 1 on The Boards, she was our biggest rival, but this wasn't the time to think about her. Not before rankings. "I wouldn't hurt anyone," I said, then I added, "Would you rehearse night and day?"

"Yes. But would you do drugs?"

"Would you?"

"Rehearse night and day, sure. Drugs? Maybe."

"Kate!" I said.

"Would you try to suck up to Monsieur Chevalier?"

"No. But maybe Louvet."

Kate laughed. "I know. Would you sleep with The Demigod?"

The Demigod? I shivered. Like The Ruler, The Demigod was off limits. As a rare conservatory transfer, he'd magically appeared in Second Division one sunny day last February and had outdone everyone. I didn't want to think about the leaders, the rats most likely to succeed, even if they were supremely sexy. "No," I answered. "Of course not. Would you?"


"That's sick," I said. "Sleeping with someone to climb the ladder?"

Kate lowered her voice. "The Demigod is different, M. You know. Everybody knows. Even faculty. Look how they gawk at him. His talent is greater than the sun and the stars combined. Proximity to him is—" She paused, searching for her words. "The key to everything. Think of it as Lee Krasner, Jackson Pollock's lover, collaborating with him on a canvas. Except that our canvas is four-dimensional, made up of flesh, of bodies. Lee's paint strokes had to intensify, right? The Demigod's balletic gift, his glow, rubs off like glitter on his partners. Haven't you noticed? Anyone who spends time with him in and out of the studio shoots up on The Boards. M, he is The King. You know what dance is? The art of the sensual. Electricity, entanglement, ease. You partner with him and you will blow the roof off this effing place. Plus"—she sucked in her breath, kept me in suspense—"he's got the hottest quads in the universe."

I imagined Cyrille flying into splits, his thighs stiffening under silver tights, what his hands might feel like clasping mine if I was ever asked to partner with him. My whole body warmed. Kate was right. The Demigod was like food, like one of my mother's pastries. You knew that eating it was bad for you, but you just couldn't help yourself. I was about to warn Kate that the Greek demigods, as attractive as they were, ate their young and their lovers, when Monsieur Arnaud, le maître de maison, our housemaster, walked over to the old-fashioned bell and rang it. The wooden doors creaked open and all the dancers scurried inside the Board Room. I still sat outside, frozen. What if I was ranked fifth or lower and got sent home? I thought of Oli. My promise to dance for him no matter what. Failing was not an option. Kate snagged my hand and pulled me up.

"Come on, sweetie," she said.

I reluctantly followed her in.



The Board Room was huge. With its doors and ­windows open, the faint smell of fish, which had been served for lunch, wafted in from the cafeteria. The ceilings were high. Crystal chandeliers tinkled like wind chimes. I tried to keep my cool as I glimpsed the giant corkboards on the walls and the crowd of multicolored leotards pushing up against them. Other than a switch from the muted green leotards of Second Division to the princely ivory of First, nothing had changed since last year or the years before. The rats, for the most part, were silent. Sheets of lined paper filled with numbers and names were tacked up on The Boards.

As I inched my way deeper into the room, Marine close behind, I prayed that Louvet had written out the First Division sheet. Sometimes when The Witch scribbled down rankings, she scratched off a name and placed it somewhere else. Ink from her fountain pen dripped and splattered on the page. Dancers had to wait until other judges arrived to help decipher numbers and names. The worst part was the embarrassment of having to stand captive and witness everyone in the school taking in your ranking. Also, the longer you waited in the Board Room, the more the walls closed in. The more tears were shed. The more bitter the smell of disappointment.

I was afraid for myself but even more afraid for M. The Witch had cut her off mid variation. Her ranking would be low. But how low? I wasn't sure. Who knew where anyone stood so early in the year? Usually I had a good sense of who'd nailed a variation, but not today. Even my performance was gray. I'd been so aware of Marine dancing behind me that I'd forgotten my final set of turns.

In front of us, one little girl in pale blue cried. Another threw her arms up into the air and spun around. Yet, as they recognized us, in our ivory leotards, the Fifth Division girls pulled themselves together and curtsied. I acknowledged them with a nod while Marine bent to kiss their cheeks.

"No no," I told her. It showed favoritism and a propensity for undue emotion, and was especially taboo in the Board Room. Yet she did it anyway.

"They need comfort. What are they going to do? Arrest me? It's so stressful. Don't you remember us at that age?"

"I try not to," I answered. "I'm about the future, not the past."

"Why do you think The Witch brought you into the studio today? Was it to humiliate me?"

I didn't know. Maybe. "I think they're trying to shake things up, to keep us guessing nonstop."

A group of older dancers huddled in the middle of the room. Ugly Bessy stood next to Isabelle, The Brooder. Bessy was unattractive, with a pug nose and eyes too close together. She counterbalanced her homeliness by spending time with Isabelle, who was beautiful but moody. Isabelle wore mascara so thick on her top lashes that she blinked extra slowly. They craned their necks, looking up at The Boards. Next to them was Short-Claire. She was repeating First Division in the hope that she might grow. The Ruler was nowhere in sight.

As I studied each girl, des copines, or school pals—and the competition—I felt grateful for Marine, who was selfless and an accomplice to my dreams. But before I could share this with M, I noticed the First Division list.

Front and center, it read:

First Division Girls

  1. Gia Delmar
  2. Claire Roscot
  3. Marine Duval
  4. Kate Sanders
  5. Bessy Prévot
  6. Isabelle Bertrand
  7. Colombe Traux
  8. Marie-Sandrine Polico

"Oh my God!" Short-Claire yelled. She clasped her palm to her mouth. "I'm Number Two!"

This was ridiculous. I never dipped below a 3, never ranked beneath Marine or Claire.

"How are these numbers possible?" I said. "You're the one who screwed up, M. I danced out of turn for you." But then I felt guilty for lashing out, so I added, "See? The Demigod's talent is rubbing off. Claire couldn't have gone up three spots in four days alone. Faculty must have seen them rehearse. Imagine getting him as an anchor partner. Then The Prize is yours."

Marine turned back to The Boards. "Anchor partners are mysterious assignments, Kate. No one knows why one First Division rat is paired up with a specific partner. Keep your drama for the stage."

I was about to snap back at her but when I spun around, The Demigod himself stood by the boys' list not four feet from me. He elbowed Jean-Paul, another First Division rat, who was one of the best jumpers at Nanterre but also the resident creep and company drug dealer. I beelined over to them.

This was my chance.

When I got close to The Demigod, I felt a release, a pull everywhere, from the back of my head, down my neck, to somewhere between my hips. I linked my fingers with his as if we'd known each other for years. At the contact, I gasp-giggled. I wasn't planning to run after him, much less grab his hand. But something made me. If I didn't address my Board slip-up immediately, if I didn't try to rectify my dire ranking, everything would go to hell. Unlike M, whose daily existence was saintlike—everything she did was for Oli, her tragically deceased twin—I danced here because my life's mission was to keep reality hundreds and hundreds of miles away, because this was the cradle of the ballet world, and because I loved to dance more than anything in the universe. The stage and studios were the only places I felt grounded and alive. Well, and now I also felt it, this aliveness, standing next to The Demigod.

Up close, and maybe because I hadn't seen him since before summer vacation, Cyrille was even more beautiful and taller than I remembered. He smelled like the potent leather of his jacket and his lips were wine red. His tights shimmered and his fingers were soft, but his grip felt solid.

"Hey," I said, after suppressing my nerves. I hoped that the blue of my eyes would hypnotize him, and that, like in a fairy tale, The Demigod would fall madly in love with me right here in the Board Room.

Cyrille looked down at our entwined fingers, then at my face.

For a nanosecond, I was sure that he stroked my index finger with his thumb, shooting dragon fire up my arm, but then he unhooked his hand from mine and lifted an eyebrow.

"Everything all right?" he said.

Was he smiling? My stomach hurt and I'd have killed for a cigarette. I also knew that Marine would implode if she saw me and The Demigod touching, but I stayed rooted to the floor. I couldn't help myself. I loved Marine more than rubies and sapphires, but I hadn't been Number 4 on The Boards since Third Division. This was urgent.

"So, M and I play this game, Would You. We could come up to your room after dinner and teach you?" That was juvenile. Would he laugh? At least I'd included Marine. After all, my crush on him was Marine's crush too. One night last spring, a few weeks after his startling arrival, M and I had lined up our pairs of pointe shoes from newest to oldest to deadest and blushed like maniacs as we baptized him The Demigod because the combination of his looks and balletic skills made him seem unearthly.

"M?" Cyrille repeated.

"As in Marine," I said.

"And Would You is the game?" Cyrille asked.

When I nodded, he grinned, making me swoon.

There was an awkward silence, so I added, "You know, a truth-or-dare kind of thing."

"Aren't you forgetting about the house rules?" Cyrille asked. "The no girls on the boys' floor? The dorm patrollers?"

"Maybe we should play now then," I said. I didn't want our conversation to end or the space between us to grow. I felt certain that if I stayed close to him, everything would fall into place.

From where I was, I could see Marine in my peripheral vision. She waited, one foot outside of the doors, eyebrows arched high. If she'd been next to me, she would have corrected Cyrille. "The Cardinal Rules," she'd have said. She would have also nixed playing Would You, not even one question, in the middle of the Board Room where anyone could hear us. But she wasn't next to us.

My heart thrashed around. What could I ask that would matter?

"Would you tell me if you thought I was a good dancer?"

"Yes." He looked me in the eyes, then he pointed to himself and to the First Division rat-boys lingering beneath The Boards. "Would you consider dancing in the company with one of us?"

"Yes," I said, thinking I might die right there at his feet.

Cyrille nodded almost imperceptibly, said, "See you later," but stayed where he was, then turned to Jean-Paul and asked him something about men's class.

Wait. See you later. Was I hallucinating? Had The Demigod asked me out? Because why was he still standing next to me? Did he want me to come up and visit him? Or had it just been goodbye? No, we had a connection. I was sure of that. For the first time in forever I felt hours away from stardom.

"I'll drop by after dinner," I said.

I walked toward Marine, watching as everyone dispersed. Short-Claire, flanked by Ugly Bessy and Brooding Isabelle, sauntered by Cyrille, smiling in his direction. He ignored her, making her eyes fill. Isabelle hugged her. For a second, I pitied Claire, even ached for her. But then I glanced at The Boards once more and hung on to the thrilling feeling of my fingers fused with his, how his glow had shimmered down on me like a fine mist. My ratings would change within the week. I knew it.

"He asked me out, M." Okay, not exactly true but close enough. "While we were playing Would You. I'm supposed to go to his room later."

Marine narrowed her eyes. "Would You? What about our Moon Pact?"

"What about it?"

"Isn't that more important than any boy?"

"Of course it is. We're everything despite what might happen with Cyrille."

"What do you mean might happen?"

"Forget it," I said. "You take things way too seriously."

After The Boards and before community chores, I asked M to Beyoncé. When one of us was upset, the other would play Queen Bey's songs as loud as the hall surveillants would allow. It was an invitation to take ten, to reboot. In our buns and leotards—and sometimes sunglasses—M and I would clutch hairbrushes, pretending they were microphones. We'd loosen up our hips and strike poses, belting out who run the world or put a ring on it, a welcome change from the strict world of ballet.

Yet at the offer tonight, M hesitated. "Still doing homework," she said.

She sat on her quilt, this lacy patchwork of teeny mirrors and bright threads, surrounded by her ballet posters, reading. I didn't tell her that I was still going to see The Demigod later. After mulling it over and over during dinner, I'd decided that visiting him was only fair. I'd been up to the boys' floor before. Plus, I'd given him my word. I would find his room, wrap myself in his magic, then tell M everything.

"Please?" I said, searching for "Dangerously in Love."

M glanced up from her book and frowned.

As Beyoncé sang, I mouthed you're my relation in connection to the sun. I batted my eyelashes and shimmied my shoulders. When none of these moves inspired M to leap off her bed, I put my hands over my head and swayed, but Marine went back to reading.

"Want to do it on 'Formation' instead?"

M shrugged.

I said, "Remember how I told you that I started this game because I was trying to impress you?"

"Uh-huh." Marine flipped a page.

"Well, it's true. You were so much nicer than everyone else, even back then. You never teased me about my terrible French or about the weird stuff my dad used to send me."

"Used to?" Marine smiled.

Suddenly, I missed home. I missed my dad, even though I knew he was always doing the wrong thing, like sending me ballet overalls that were gray and polyester instead of black and 100 percent wool, or long-sleeved leotards.

But then she said, "Remember when I grabbed your hand behind The Witch's back?"


  • “A.K. Small’s debut novel, Bright Burning Stars, is basically YA catnip . . . Small’s attention to detail—the minutiae of Marine and Kate’s lives in the academy—is beautifully written, and both the propulsion of the drama between Marine and Kate and their own demons make this book compulsively readable. Small only leaves you wanting more from her ballet-focused world.”
    Entertainment Weekly

    “Cutthroat ballerinas duking it out really never gets old.”

    “With prose that is otherworldly at times, Small captures the disintegration of a friendship within a high-pressure world. A cerebral debut that will appeal to readers—and there are more than a few—interested in the cutthroat ballet universe.”

    “Debut author Small, herself a dancer, brings authenticity (fascinating day-to-day details abound) to what it takes to flourish or wither amid the soaring highs and crushing lows of a competitive dance school while sensitively exploring the girls’ many emotional and physical extremes . . . Addictive, angst-y, and heartfelt.”
    Kirkus Reviews
    “Small, a trained ballerina, infuses her novel with dance terminology and French phrases, giving the reader a sense of the milieu. And while much of the focus of this novel is dance, the heart of the story is about the lengths one will go to realize a dream.”
    Publishers Weekly

    “A fascinating and dramatic view of the world of young ballet dancers.”
    Pittsburgh City Paper

    “This is a story filled with interesting plot twists sure to maintain a high level of interest for readers.”
    School Library Journal

On Sale
Mar 2, 2021
Page Count
304 pages

A.K. Small

A.K. Small

About the Author

A. K. Small is the author of Bright Burning Stars, now a major motion picture called Birds of Paradise. She was born in Paris, France. At five years old, she studied classical dance with the legendary Max Bozzoni, then later with Daniel Franck and Monique Arabian at the famous Académie Chaptal. At thirteen, she moved to the United States, where she danced with the Pacific Northwest Ballet for one summer and with the Richmond Ballet Student Company for several years. She’s a graduate of the College of William and Mary and has an MFA in fiction from Vermont College of Fine Arts. When she’s not writing, she spends time with her husband, her puppy, and her three daughters, and practices yoga.

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