This reading group guide for The Master's Muse includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Varley O'Connor. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.
It is often said, behind every great man, there is a great woman. In the case of celebrated and esteemed choreographer George Balanchine, there were several. The Master’s Muse
is the spectacular reimagining of his fifth and final wife, Tanaquil Le Clercq. At just twenty-seven years old, Tanny’s brilliant career as a ballerina was ended and her entire world shattered when she contracted polio. She lost her ability to dance, and with that, feared the loss of her husband’s affection and desire. Varley O’Connor masterfully enters the mind of Tanny and delivers a first person perspective on life as a ballerina, polio victim, and muse to one of ballet’s most famous figures of the twentieth century. Topics & Questions for Discussion
1. The Master’s Muse
is broken up into three parts: “polio,” “Being Russian,” and “The Body.” Discuss the significance of these three part titles as they relate to the story, alo