OVERRIDE

Dancing Backwards

A Novel

Salley Vickers

Picador

Violet Hetherington, recently widowed, has taken the rash step of joining a transatlantic cruise to New York to visit Edwin, an old friend and long-ago lover. As she makes the six-day crossing, she relives the traumatic events that led to losing his friendship and abandoning her career as a poet for the safety of marriage. Moving between the late sixties and the present day, Dancing Backwards is written with the lightness of touch and psychological insight that characterizes much of Salley Vickers’s widely acclaimed work. This bittersweet novel is subtle, poignant, and wonderfully entertaining.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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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. After a while an announcement
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REVIEWS

Praise for Dancing Backwards

“If you enjoy the work of Marilynne Robinson, Penelope Fitzgerald, James Salter or Anita Brookner, you should be reading Vickers.” —Michael Dirda, The Washington Post Book World

“An elegant waltz through a personal history littered with betrayal and regret, crisply and carefully told.” —The Guardian (UK)

“A moving story of a good second-chance romance.” —Publishers Weekly

“Salley Vickers has a gift for making the most unlikely settings for fiction absolutely compelling....She is a brave writer....Fresh, intriguing, and enlightening.” —The Independent (London)

“A superior romantic novelist...and the novel’s central triumph [is] its portrait of a heroine steadily—and with immense hope—working through the dramas of her quietly difficult life.” —The Telegraph (London)

Reviews from Goodreads

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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
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Available Formats and Book Details

Dancing Backwards

A Novel

Salley Vickers

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Picador

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