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Eva Stachniak

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Eva Stachniak is the award-winning and internationally bestselling author of four novels. The Winter Palace was a Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year and made The Washington Post’s most notable fiction list in 2012. She holds a PhD in literature from McGill University. Born and raised in Poland, she moved to Canada in 1981, and lives in Toronto. The Chosen Maiden, her fifth novel, has just been published.
   
   
   

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Posted by on Mar 13, 2017

“I absolutely adored The Chosen Maiden! Such masterful, sensitive writing, I was immersed from the first page to the last. Eva Stachniak illuminates those historic pathways, blazed at such personal cost, by the ‘dance-greats.’ Most of all, I loved the humanizing of these characters—Bronia, Vaslav, Sergei Diaghilev—who imprinted their genius on our culture, whose names are so familiar, but whose origins and inner lives were not—until now.” —

Veronica Tennant, author of On Stage, Please, Filmmaker, Prima Ballerina

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Media reviews and interviews

Posted by on Jan 4, 2017

 

The Globe and Mail

Eva Stachniak: ‘We live in a country that embodies the essence of the 21st century’

The Chosen Maiden was born out of my fascination with Ballets Russes, a Russian dance company which, in the summer of 1909, took Paris by storm, and fundamentally transformed Western notions of modern art. I wrote it because, after over 30 years in Canada, I’m still exploring the encounters between East and West, their exhilarating possibilities and illuminating setbacks. My heroine, Bronislava (Bronia) Nijinska, the intended Chosen Maiden from the 1913 production of The Rite of Spring choreographed by her famous brother Vaslav, was a brilliant dancer and a ground-breaking choreographer. The tantalizing relationship between Bronia and Vaslav is one of the novel’s main themes. Another is a life fuelled by a passion for art and lived in between cultures, languages and ideologies, against the backdrop of bloody political upheavals – two world wars and the Russian Revolution. With the Nijinsky men gone – by choice or tragic fate – it’s the women who pick up the pieces. For me this makes The Chosen Maiden both personal and universal. Personal for it evokes the spirit of the Polish women who raised me, brave and nurturing, determined to wrench the slightest sliver of happiness from the hardest of times. Universal, for I see the very same spirit anywhere where women know that the survival of their families depends on them. MORE

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The Chosen Media on-line reviews/interviews

Posted by on Mar 13, 2017

Ballet To the People:

The Chosen Maiden – the title taken from the lead role of Vaslav Nijinsky’s Sacre du Printemps, created for his sister Bronia – is very much about surviving unreal times. About finding the strength to continue on after everything is lost. It is about the duty of artists and the revolutionary power of grassroots movements. “The Chosen Maiden, my brother once told me, is a warrior, not a dying swan. She dances to make life possible again.”

 

Hubert O’Hearn on The Chosen Maiden:

I thoroughly enjoyed Eva Stachniak’s two novels on Catherine the Great. This one surpasses those. This is a writer in full and complete control of her material, knowing just how much of a ballet to describe in just enough detail and which ballets are worthy of description.

 

Wandering Educators on The Chosen Maiden:

NEVER have I been so entranced with a book, so reluctant to leave the world the author has created, so INTO a subject I previously knew little about.

The World Dances:

The Chosen Maiden, is pure gold. Every dancer, choreographer, mother of a dancer, or lover of a great story will be immediately immersed in this enticing historical novel ….

 

Cosmopolitan Review:

The Chosen Maiden, rescuing Nijinska from her brother’s shadow, reveals an artist, one who knows that “to excel, I have to be strong, resilient, see more, understand what is hidden to others”, and also, as her brother told her, that “Art is all that matters, Bronia. Everything else is distraction. 

 

Portland Book Review on writing The Chosen Maiden. The Curse of the Archives. 

           Wonders and Marvels interviews Eva Stachniak 

Kris Waldherr: “It’s a wonderful read—Eva’s writing is tender, evocative, and immersive.”  Interview with Eva Stachniak.

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