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Jane Hamilton, Copyright: unknown

Jane Hamilton
born: 07-13-1957
in: Oak Park, Illinois
1990 .|. The Book of Ruth Excerpt from Random House
1994 .|. A Map of the World Excerpt from Random House
1998 .|. The Short History of a Prince Excerpt from Random House .|. Bookworm's Comment
2000 .|. Disobedience Excerpt from Random House .|. Bookreporter.com
2006 .|. When Madeline was young Excerpt from Random House .|. Bookreporter.com
2009 .|. Laura Rider's Masterpiece Excerpt from Hachette Book Group .|. Bookreporter.com

The Short History of a Prince
"The Short History of a Prince" (Doubleday, Paperback, 1998, read: Januar 00)
"Walter McCloud is a boy with dreams unlike most. Introduced as a child to the genius of Balanchine and the lyricism of Tchaikovsky, Walter has always aspired to be a dancer. As he grows older, it becomes clear that despite his desire, he lacks the talent, and he faces the painful knowledge that his more gifted friends have already surpassed him. Soon, however, that pain is overshadowed when his older brother, Daniel, finds a strange lump on his neck and Walter realizes that a happy family can change overnight. The year that follows transforms the McClouds, as they try to hold together in the face of the fearful consequences of Daniel's illness, and Walter makes discoveries about himself and his friendships that will change him forever. Decades later, after Walter has left home and returned, he must come to terms with the momories of that year, and grapple once and for all the challenge of carving out a place for himself in this all-too-familiar world."

Walter McCloud never fit. As a boy he took ballet lessons to become a professional dancer but he wasn't good enough. His friends from ballet school, Susan and Mitch, are by far better than he is and their are a couple, while Walter is gay. His parents only care for his deadly sick brother Daniel and assume that he's ok by himself. Later, as a single teacher in a small town, he's new to the community and it takes great effort to be recognized by his students, who don't count literature among their favourite classes. He ends a promising relationship after the first night because he can't stand the idea that someday they won't have anything to talk about. But in the end it's his family and his friends who make his life worth living and give him strength. And he sees that his brother, in spite of his early death has given him the best gifts.
This story is an unusual family history. Between September 1995 and July 1996 Walter recalls the events from 1972/73, a year which was mainly marked by his brothers death. But also by Walters escapades and discoveries while searching for his place in the family.
Apart from the wonderful story the descriptions of classical ballets and great dancers remind of the love of ballet one maybe had some time ago. This is the third novel by Jane Hamilton, whose first novel 'The Book of Ruth' received numerous prizes and whose second book 'A Map of the World' was made into a movie with Sigourney Weaver.
[Dorothée Büttgen, January 00]

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