Jezebel Died Dancing -- A Note from the Author

Jezebel Died Dancing is set in Wichita, KS, in 1987. This was the heyday of singing telegrams that didn't actually sing. In a good-sized city in the Midwest, you could hire a Jewish yenta to scold you into finding a wife. You could rent a clown or a violinist or a belly dancer. You could hire a bride or a cop to accost your best friend, and suddenly start taking off clothes.

In 1987, music was on cassette. Ebay did not yet exist, nor did beaded Egyptian fringe by the meter. Very few dancers bought their own costumes. Sewing a costume, bead by bead, was a creative act and a rite of passage. Skirts had wide leg openings, and belts showed two or three inches of skin below the belly button. Thong underwear was rare; thong leotards well, there they were. In 1987, forensic DNA profiling made its debut.


If you know who Bert and Bobby are, you'll see some details you remember. If you don't, I hope you enjoy a visit to a world where everything was more mysterious and more precious, because you had to work harder to connect to it. What remains the same is the robust beauty of Egyptian culture, and the hard physical work and hours of imagination that its dancers devote to their art.


Of course, the characters in this novel are not depictions of real people. They are a blend of characters and characteristics that I observed over the years. For those in my dance studio and my graduate program I wrote this before I met you.

The read starts on February 20, 2012. I'll publish a chapter each Monday. You'll find them listed on the left of the Articles page. Enjoy! -- Safira



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