Dancing Backwards

A Novel

Salley Vickers

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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Violet Hetherington has taken the rash step of joining a transatlantic cruise to New York to visit Edwin, an old friend. As she makes the six-day crossing, she relives the traumatic events that led to her losing Edwin’s friendship and abandoning her career as a poet for the safety of marriage and domesticity. 
 

Despite her natural reserve, she meets a rich variety of passengers traveling with her, who affect her understanding of her own past. Most significant, she meets Dino, the dancing host, whose motives in befriending Vi are shady but who teaches her to ballroom dance and inadvertently helps her to recover from her past.

 

Moving between the late sixties and the present day, Dancing Backwards is written with the lightness of touch and psychological insight that characterize Salley Vickers’s acclaimed work. This bittersweet novel is subtle, poignant, and wonderfully entertaining.

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1‘What on earth have I done?’ Violet Hetherington asked herself.She was standing in one of several queues in the dock at Southampton. The queues, by now spilling out of the cattle shed marked ‘Departures’, to board the Queen Caroline were long and none was moving. ‘It’s best to get to the docks late,’ her friend Annie had advised. ‘If you get there too early you can grow roots hanging about.’ Annie, married to a diplomat and full of advice, was a seasoned traveller. But on this occasion her advice was mistaken.

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About the Author

Salley Vickers

Salley Vickers has worked as a dancer, an artist’s model, a university professor of literature, and a psychoanalyst. She now writes full-time.

Salley Vickers

Ian O'Leary
Salley Vickers

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Available Formats and Book Details

Dancing Backwards
A Novel
Salley Vickers

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
August 2010
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429979887
ISBN10: 1429979887
272 pages
$7.99

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Picador
May 2011
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312569327
ISBN10: 0312569327
5 x 7 15/16 inches, 272 pages
$15.00
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Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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