Various Positions

Front Cover
Text Publishing Company, Jan 3, 2012 - Fiction - 372 pages
28 Reviews

What will we sacrifice for the idea of perfection?

In Martha Schabas's extraordinary debut novel we encounter the beauty and brutality of professional dancing. Trapped between the confusing world of her friends and the dysfunctional world of her family, Georgia is only at ease when dancing; in ballet she finds the exhilarating strength and control she lacks elsewhere in her life. But the director of the Ballet Academy singles her out as a star and subjects her to increasingly vicious training regime.

Georgia obsesses about becoming his perfect student, disciplined and sexless. But a disturbing incident with a stranger on the subway, coupled with her dawning recognition of the truth of her parents' unhappy marriage, causes her to radically reassess her ideas about physical boundaries - a reassessment that threatens both Roderick's future at the academy and Georgia's ambitions as a ballerina. Soon she is caught up in a drama of sexual bewilderment that will determine her chances to live her dreams or lose them forever.

Various Positions is nuanced, fresh, and beautifully written. It's an intense, unsettling and absorbing novel that pays homage to Nabokov's Lolita and perfectly evokes the turbulence of adolescence, and how wilful innocence or moral misunderstanding can damage the lives of those close to you.

'All the artful nuance and precision of the ballet itself...gripping and unflinching.' Lynn Coady

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
3
4 stars
9
3 stars
9
2 stars
1
1 star
6

Review: Various Positions

User Review  - Mayra - Goodreads

This wasn't a bad book, despite the flat protagonist and the disturbing situations. While Georgia's narration was unbelievable for a fourteen year old many of the situations she was in were realistic ... Read full review

Review: Various Positions

User Review  - Joel Fishbane - Goodreads

Being a former theatre school brat, I couldn't help but be drawn to this affecting first novel by Martha Schabas, a work that deals with adolescence, broken homes and the fact that when you're dealing ... Read full review

All 4 reviews »

About the author (2012)

Martha Schabas was born in Toronto. She earned a B.A. in Political Science from McGill University and an M.A. in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia, where she received the David Higham Literary Award. She has also completed an M.A. in English Literature at Queen’s University. Her articles, book reviews and short fiction have appeared in The Globe and Mail, Broken Pencil and Maisonneuve. Various Positions is her first novel.

Bibliographic information