Death By Scarf (And Other Tragedies): An Interview with Amelia Gray

Another book for my TBR pile…
What an unexpected and exciting find… just after concerts in Esenin’s honor (Isadora’s dance with silk scarf was in all of them, of course)…

Chicago Review of Books


Isadora Duncan lived an extraordinary life. A dancer of international acclaim, Isadora’s distinct artistic philosophy, tumultuous romantic relationships, and peculiar death make her an interesting, though little remembered, 20th century icon. She is the title figure of Amelia Gray‘s new novel, Isadora, which is—to say the least—not your run-of-the-mill historical fiction. Rather than recount the dozens of notorious tabloid stories that built Isadora’s legend (including the scarf that killed her), Gray hones in on the artist herself, delving into a period of tremendous loss after Duncan’s two children drown in a horrible automobile accident.

The result is a stunning work filled with profound emotional insights and downright splendid prose. Indeed, Gray’s sentences move with a natural cadence that mirrors Isadora’s philosophy as a dancer. With each movement, Gray gradually reveals the ambitions and losses of her characters.

I was lucky enough to chat with Amelia on the phone…

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