A friend who knows how I feel about dance and eccentric women sent me an advance reader’s copy of Isadora by Amelia Gray. It kept slipping to the bottom of my to-be-read stack as buzzy thrillers took its place, but I finally found the right moment to read it. So glad I did. Isadora Duncan led an extraordinary life, and Gray crafts a narrative equal to her subject, one in which we see a woman whose art shapes her life just as her life fuels her art.
I enjoyed this book as a reader, but I was also taking notes as a writer. Gray does a terrific job of creating distinctive voices. There’s Isadora herself, but there’s also her sister, Elizabeth; and Paris Singer, heir to the sewing-machine fortune; both of whom make the birth of a new art form possible by tending to the details—financial and administrative—while Isadora dances.