Black Danceby Nancy Huston
“A blazing ode to freedom” (Paris Match) by international bestselling writer and winner of the Prix Femina for Fault Lines, Nancy Huston.
Screenwriter Milo Noirlac is dying. As he lies in the dark of his hospital bed, voices from Milo’s past and present—real and imagined—swirl about his head, each taking on the rhythm of his favorite Brazilian fight-dance, the capoiera. Seated next to him, Milo’s partner, bumptious director Paul Schwartz, coaxes Milo through his life story, from the abuse he suffered as a foster child to his lost heritage—his beloved grandfather’s priceless library. As Milo narrates, his story becomes the pair’s final screenplay, the movie that will be their masterpiece.
With Milo’s imagination in full flight, several generations of Noirlac ancestors—voices in French and English, German and Dutch, Cree and Gaelic—come to life. There’s Neil Kerrigan, his Irish grandfather, classmate of “Jimmy” Joyce, would-be poet and aspiring activist in the fight against British occupation, crushed by his exile in Quebec; Awinita, Milo’s biological mother, an Indian teen prostitute; Eugénio, a street child whom Milo finds and fosters; and Marie-Thérése, Milo’s tough-as-nails aunt. As each voice cascades through Milo’s memory, an important piece of family, and world, history is formed.
Packed with humor and pathos, written with Huston’s infectious vivacity, Black Dance is a rich portrait of one man’s life and death; a swirling, sensual dance of a novel, from an exceptional and rare literary voice.
“A magnificently structured novel . . . memorable.” —Madame Figaro
“As musical as a Bach prelude.” —Elle (France)