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Evan Fallenberg

Fiction, 2011

At eighty-five, Teo Levin has had a full life, first as a dancer with the Royal Danish Ballet, later as a student of Balanchine and then, for more than fifty years, as head of the Tel Aviv Ballet and the choreographer of spare, prize-winning ballets that are hailed as some of the finest of the twentieth century. But when Vivi, a young waitress at the Tel Aviv café he frequents, enters his life, both of them are changed dramatically. Their relationships to art and to life itself shift, and their separate experiences and suppressed memories from Warsaw and Copenhagen, from Berlin and Tel Aviv, resurface with a vengeance. Other major characters include Pincho, Vivi’s gay flatmate who comes from a family of religious settlers; her Dead Sea-to-Berlin boyfriend Martin; her mother Leah, a feisty Holocaust survivor from Hungary; Nelly, Teo’s pale and silent Polish housekeeper, and Freddy, an aristocrat and art dealer whose complex obsessions change the course of Teo’s life.

Rights Sold:

USA: HarperCollins

Rights Sold to:

“An impressive new novel.” – Cynthia Ozick

“Quietly spectacular and emotionally satisfying...Fallenberg achieves the near-impossible, superbly crafting an altogether unique Holocaust story made plausible through utterly gripping realism.” – Miami Herald

“Fallenberg’s precise prose moves fluidly between the delicate and the bold, much like the aging dancer whose story he tells with such elegance. His spare style sneaks up on the reader, enhancing the emotionality inherent in his subject.” – Publishers Weekly

“When We Danced on Water is a haunting, beautifully written story about the unlikely friendship between two artists...Fallenberg’s novel is exquisite.” – Edge

“When We Danced on Water is literary fiction that reads like a long short story. Packed with intensity in both plot and psychology, its effect is disproportionate to its brevity. Reading about Teo and Vivi is like experiencing a lifelong relationship with each protagonist.” – Forward

“The poetic [When We Danced on Water] is read easily in a few sittings, and the light of Tel Aviv, the pure beauty and sensuality of dance and the powerful affirmation of life, are deeply felt.” – New York Jewish Week

“Highly recommended.” – Washington Jewish Week

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