Varley O'Connor

At home in Ohio with feline literary critic.


The Master's Muse
Varley O'Connor's fourth novel (Scribner, May 2012) is based on the life of George Balanchine’s fifth wife, a star ballerina whose career was cut short when she contracted polio at age twenty-six.

The Cure
“This sublimely written novel takes on large issues such as illness, race, family relations, and the varieties of human love. Honesty and compassion inform every page, and there are passages so musical and full of grace they read like hymns. Reading groups should rejoice at this book.”
--Sigrid Nunez, author of The Last of Her Kind

A Company of Three
“An old-fashioned novel, in the best sense of that phrase, elegantly wrought, hard-headed, and tenderhearted about the world of actors and theater.”
--Michael Chabon, author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Klay

Like China
“ ...O’Connor has put together a story about loss, betrayal, growing up and the often-peculiar nature of relationships. If that sounds like a lot for one novel, maybe it is... But this book works anyway, simply because O’Connor’s many-faceted, carefully wrought characters are absolutely compelling.”
--Victoria Diaz, Michigan’s Observer Eccentric

Selected Works

A novel about the relationship between Tanaquil Le Clercq and George Balanchine, told from her point of view. Balanchine was the greatest ballet master of the 20th century, and Le Clercq, a brilliant ballerina who contracted polio at the height of her career, was his fifth wife.
A novel about a family bound together and almost torn apart by a son’s polio.
A bittersweet elegy of three actor friends facing the realities of their dreams.
A woman’s liberation from an abusive husband, set in the Hamptons and New York City.

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