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(While her peers went out on dates, talked to one another on the phone at night, and listened to Greatest Hits, the prize-winning author of this refreshingly honest memoir was listening to Chopin, Czerny, Scriabin and Tchaikovsky surging through the humid, resin-filled air of the ballet studio. At the age of 12, Evan Zimroth submitted to the punishing regime of a latter-day Svengali who pushed her into a life of self- denial and physical torture. This demanding and temperamental Russian, a legendary dance master, also took a psychological hold over her, and a disturbing erotic bond was forged between tutor and pupil. The bruising affair dominated her teenage years, but Zimroth writes without rancour. She only felt able to write her account after F had died, and so it is imbued with the wisdom of hindsight and told in a wonderfully supple prose)

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