Dancers & the Dance

Stories by Summer Brenner

January 1, 1990 • 5.5 x 8.5 • 160 pages • 978-0-918273-75-8

Fascinating stories evoking the complex world of dancers, their triumph and disappointments.

In the twelve intimate stories of this collection, Summer Brenner evokes the complex world of dancers: would-be and could-be dancers, those who dance for pleasure, politics, or religion, those who dance in dreams, those who adamantly refuse to dance, and those who can’t dance anymore. Both fascinating and accessibly written, Brenner never loses sight of the innermost triumphs and disappointments of her dancers. With equal compassion, we see the nervous debut of a young hopeful in “The Ballet Dancer,” the struggle of a choreographer dying of AIDS in “The Modern Dancer,” and the exhilaration of a young white woman finally accepted by her black peers in “The African Dancer.” For admirers and students of dance as well as lovers of good fiction, this collection consistently delights with its insight into both dance and the dancers who perform them. A perfect gift for dancers of any age.

About the Author

Summer Brenner has performed, taught, and extensively studied flamenco and contemporary dance. She is the author of a dozen works of fiction, including Dancers and the Dance, I-5, and Richmond Tales: Lost Secrets of the Iron Triangle. Her works have also appeared in anthologies and literary magazines, as well as been performed in the one-act play The Missing Lover and the musical extravaganza Arundo. She is a longtime resident of Berkeley, California.


“Some of the best prose this reviewer has recently noted.” Baltimore Sun

“These stories deliver what we want out of a novel (lived experience) through an amazingly taunt, sensuous language.” San Francisco Review of Books

“I found Summer Brenner’s work full of authenticities, sensitivities, and wonderful insights into the world of dance. It’s refreshing to read a book about dance that is indeed fresh, vital, and without pretensions.” —Edward Villella, Miami City Ballet

“Summer Brenner’s stories capture some of the private musings of the dancer. She is able to write with sensitivity about the complexity of maintaining both the body and the mind in both the young and experienced dancer.” —Margaret Jenkins, Margaret Jenkins Dance Company