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Dzanc Books is nonprofit press specializing in literary fiction and nonfiction. In addition to publishing activities, Dzanc Books also supports the Disquiet International Literary Program.

Dancing Lessons, by Olive Senior

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Dancing Lessons, by Olive Senior


Dancing Lessons, by Olive Senior


Publication Date: April 15, 2014
Paperback: 374 pages
ISBN: 978-1-938604-49-2


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Shortlisted for First Novel Award 2011 
Listed in the Globe and Mail Notables share their favorite 2011 books
Shortlisted for Commonwealth Prize
Longlisted for The International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

Her mother's death and her father's madness leave G unloved and unwanted as a child. Her runaway marriage brings her children but not the fulfillment she yearns for. Many years later, a hurricane destroys her Jamaican country house where she now lives alone and she ends up—unwillingly—in a ritzy retirement home in the city, placed there by her well-to-do but distant daughter. Displaced and angry, G is forced to deal with her seemingly incompatible housemates and the pain of her past. Surprisingly, she ends up learning to love and laugh, to reconnect with the children she thought she had lost, and to finally gain a sense of belonging. Told in G's voice as she writes in her journal—a new-found solace from pain—Dancing Lessons is by turns sad, satirical, hilarious, and ultimately redemptive. A novel infused with the cadences and color of Jamaica yet connecting with anyone anywhere who engages with notions of family, love, loss, friendship, and belonging.


"As a novel it is compelling, its heroine unforgettable.... A simply wonderful read." —Globe and Mail

"This novel is a jewel that promises the reader a lesson in dancing to the right tune." —Jamaica Sunday Observer