The True Memoirs of Little K by Adrienne Sharp
A Novel

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 7 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

Exiled in Paris, tiny, one-hundred-year-old Mathilde Kschessinska sits down to write her memoirs before all that she believes to be true is forgotten. A lifetime ago, she was the vain, ambitious, impossibly charming prima ballerina assoluta of the tsar’s Russian Imperial Ballet in St. Petersburg. Now, as she looks back on her tumultuous life, she can still recall every slight she ever suffered, every conquest she ever made.

Kschessinka’s riveting storytelling soon thrusts us into a world lost to time: that great intersection of the Russian court and the Russian theater. Before the revolution, Kschessinska dominated that world as the greatest dancer of her age. At seventeen, her crisp, scything technique made her a star. So did her romance with the tsarevich Nicholas Romanov, soon to be Nicholas II. It was customary for grand dukes and sons of tsars to draw their mistresses from the ranks of the ballet, but it was not customary for them to fall in love.

The affair could not endure: when Nicholas ascended to the throne as tsar, he was forced to give up his mistress, and Kschessinska turned for consolation to his cousins, two grand dukes with whom she formed an infamous ménage à trois. But when Nicholas’s marriage to Alexandra wavered after she produced girl after girl, he came once again to visit his Little K. As the tsar’s empire—one that once made up a third of the world—began its fatal crumble, Kschessinka’s devotion to the imperial family would be tested in ways she could never have foreseen.

In Adrienne Sharp’s magnificently imagined novel, the last days of the three-hundred-year-old Romanov empire are relived. Through Kschessinska’s memories of her own triumphs and defeats, we witness the stories that changed history: the seething beginnings of revolution, the blindness of the doomed court, the end of a grand, decadent way of life that belonged to the nineteenth century. Based on fact, The True Memoirs of Little K is historical fiction as it’s meant to be written: passionately eventful, crammed with authentic detail, and alive with emotions that resonate still.


 

About Adrienne Sharp

See more books from this Author
Adrienne Sharp entered the world of ballet at age seven and trained at the prestigious Harkness Ballet in New York. She received her M.A. with honors from the Writing Seminars at the Johns Hopkins University and was awarded a Henry Hoyns Fellowship at the University of Virginia. She has been a fiction fellow at MacDowell, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Squaw Valley Writer's Conference. She is the author of White Swan, Black Swan and The Sleeping Beauty.
 
Published October 26, 2010 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 386 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The True Memoirs of Little K

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Sharp lifts a real-life figure from history, one Mathilde Kschessinska, prima ballerina assoluta of St. Petersburg's Imperial Ballet, for this saga of romance and glamour, intrigue and revolution.

Nov 02 2010 | Read Full Review of The True Memoirs of Little K:...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Sharp impressively conjures the grand life of Mathilde Kschessinka, Russian prima ballerina and mistress of Czar Nicholas II, in her sweeping third novel (after The Sleeping Beauty).

Jul 19 2010 | Read Full Review of The True Memoirs of Little K:...

Bookmarks Magazine

By the time I was ten years old, I was on full scholarship and taking ballet class six days a week, and when I wasn’t dancing I was going to the ballet and reading Dance magazine and collecting souvenir programs from all the leading ballet companies.

Nov 01 2010 | Read Full Review of The True Memoirs of Little K:...

Oprah.com

Mathilde Kschessinska, the narrator of Adrienne Sharp's brilliant The True Memoirs of Little K, was a real person: a famous dancer in the Imperial Ballet of Russia at the end of the 19th century.

Oct 29 2010 | Read Full Review of The True Memoirs of Little K:...

Hutchinson Leader

Book Review: 'The True Memoirs of Little K,' by Adrienne Sharp Hutchinson Leader back options Book Review: 'The True Memoirs of Little K,' by Adrienne Sharp 0 comments Sign in to comm...

| Read Full Review of The True Memoirs of Little K:...

Hutchinson Leader

Because you have already viewed this article, you may view it again as many times as you would like without subtracting from your remaining free article views.

| Read Full Review of The True Memoirs of Little K:...

Hutchinson Leader

Although a novel, author Adrienne Sharp does a masterful job of recreating Russia's Imperial Court during the reign of the last of the Romanovs.

Jan 24 2011 | Read Full Review of The True Memoirs of Little K:...

Reader Rating for The True Memoirs of Little K
76%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 53 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×