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Destined to Dance: A Novel about Martha Graham Paperback – March 14, 2012

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 298 pages
  • Publisher: Dolan & Assoc. (March 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0983116490
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983116493
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,652,683 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

MARCY HEIDISH is the award-winning author of fourteen books. A graduate of Vassar College, she also has studied at The Catholic University of America, and received an M.A. from American University. She is the recipient of a National Endownment For The Arts, a Creative Writing Fellowship, a Schubert Fellowship, and other awards. She has taught for several years at Georgetown University and The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and at Fordham University, New York City. Ms. Heidish is an expert in the field of historical fiction, but her gifts extend beyond this genre. She has published an "Edgar" nominated mystery, contemporary fiction, three non-fiction books on spirituality, as well as numerous short pieces. In addition to her professional credentials, Ms. Heidish has been an active volunteer with homeless women, a Hotline volunteer, and volunteer for the Lighthouse for the Blind. Versatile, sensitive and compelling, Ms. Heidish offers a special "read" for everyone. Visit Marcy at

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Terri J. Rice TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
Martha always had the urge to dance. Upon the death of her little brother, grief stricken and blaming herself for his death, her father tells her it's not her fault. She wishes she could tell her little brother how she feels. Martha's father tells her to show him. And this is her first dance full of angst, sorrow and pain. And it felt so sacred, "No misery could touch me here. No human could bestow this magic."

Martha knew she always would dance.

Accepted into Denishawn school of Dance just barely, Martha was stuck in the back row, the furthest on the left, where no one would notice for every dance. Considered too short, too ugly she soon got her break when a solo dance required a darker skinned, darker haired dancer.

Leaving Denishawn she took a job with John Murray Anderson's Follies in New York City. Soon she was choreographing and then with a loan, rented a place to perform. She succeded in suing off the loan with a single performance. Soon she was on Broadway and received great reviews. But her success seems to come at a huge cost.

This is Martha Graham's story through her eyes. She was a difficult person with a scorching personality who always knew what she wanted and would not stop until she got it.

Marcy Heidish tells an excellent story about this passionate woman who created a new way of expression through a unique dance style.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie De Pue VINE VOICE on May 28, 2012
Format: Paperback
"Destined to Dance" is the first historical novel based upon the life of Martha Graham, iconic 20th century American woman considered the mother of modern dance. She invented a new "language of movement" that's still taught around the world, as exemplified in her signature work, "Appalachian Spring," and about 180 other ballets. The book is the creation of award-winning American author and academic Marcy Heidish, who, in her long career, has published fourteen books, including several about other notable American women.

Graham, born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1894, moved with her family to Santa Barbara, California as a child. She would have much to overcome on her way to a successful career. She first attempted to enter the magical world of dance, through an audition at Denishawn, the school run by early innovators of modern, Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn, who followed in the exoticizing footprints of the turn of the 20th century Isadora Duncan. St. Denis told her she was too short, too short of leg, too dark, too plain, and too old--at twenty-two, apparently then, as now, great dancers generally started as young children. Nevertheless, Graham was admitted to the company, then did some vaudeville and theatrical work, and finally started her own school. The world-famous diva danced, taught, and choreographed.

She was the first American dancer to perform at the White House, for President and Mrs. Franklin Delano Roosevelt. She was the first dance cultural ambassador at the Cold War's height; defied Hitler's pressure to dance in Nazi Germany, at the 1934 Olympics located there. She won a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She also had to fight alcoholism, depression, and a failing marriage.
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