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Nureyev, angel and demon

Colum McCann, an Irish writer who emigrated to New York, has been fascinated by the personality of Nureyev, and devoted four years to researching and writing this book. From the moment that it was released, the book enjoyed great success.
Translated into some 20 languages to date, the book has proved popular with readers the world over. This is certainly due to McCann's talent as a writer, successfully describing Nureyev the angel and Nureyev the demon. Although the many biographical details are correct, it is rather Nureyev the man that McCann has sought to unravel rather than Nureyev the cosmopolitan artist. Opting for various narrators throughout his work, the author helps the reader discover the 1000 different faces of Nureyev. Colum McCann has stayed in Ufa and in Saint Petersburg, offering a remarkable insight into the sinister atmosphere prevailing in the years immediately following World War Two. This is a work that pays tribute to the complexity and multiplicity of Nureyev the person. Curiously, Nureyev appears more authentic in this book than in many biographies.

A definite "must-read" book.

Dancer, Colum McCann, 2003, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London

"Dancer" by Colum McCann (Picador)