"A love story reminiscent of that of my grandparents.
I could not put it down."
-Kinga Nijinsky Gaspers
“Germaine Shames’ beautiful depiction of the life of Margit Wolf and Pasquale Frustaci is told with such vivid and haunting detail, it's as if the reader is propelled back in time to witness a devastating journey of shattered dreams, juxtaposed with the strength and courage of the human heart. A tragic story, beautifully written.”
-Susan Jaffe, “America’s quintessential ballerina”
"Germaine paints a vivid and accurate portrait of the world of ballet in pre and post-war Europe. The epic drama expected on the ballet stage is dwarfed by the tragic real life events of her ballerina heroine, Margit Wolf. Penetrating descriptions of political brutality and the prepossession of romantic love, an ever present theme in classical ballet, make for a page-turning, impelling read."
-Janet Panetta, Ballet Master Tanztheater Pina Bausch
"An epic story and a true story. Margit Wolf's life is the kind of character journey that makes for great movies."
-Howard Allen, "the Script Doctor"
"Shames captures the essence of a ballerina with such expertise in her riveting story. Dancers succeed by creating beauty from effort; this book, too, shows that exquisite art can be made from history's hardships."
-Elana Altman, soloist dancer, San Francisco Ballet
“Shames' faithful, carefully researched portrayal of (ballerina Margit) Wolf's blindness and history's cruelty makes this a compelling read.”
-Elizabeth Evans, author of The Blue Hour
“Compelling, heart-wrenching, and heroic.”
-Jim Bencivenga, Christian Science Monitor
Shames’ Spellbinding New Novel, Based on a True Story
In the final weeks of 1938, in the shadow of Kristallnacht and imminent war, a heartsick Italian maestro wrote a love song called "Tu Solamente Tu."
Its lyrics lamented his forced separation from his wife, the Hungarian ballerina Margit Wolf, in the wake of Mussolini's edict banishing foreign Jews from Italy. The song, first recorded by Vittorio de Sica in 1939, catapulted to the top of the Hit Parade and earned the composer the moniker the "Italian Cole Porter." The German version, "Du Immer Wieder Du," would be performed by Zarah Leander, the foremost film star of the German Reich, and its English counterpart, "You, Fascinating You," by the Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band.
Twenty-two years would pass before the maestro and his ballerina again met face-to-face.
You, Fascinating You begins as a backstage romance and ends as an epic triumph of the human spirit.
Now available at Pale Fire Press