Errand Into the Maze: The Life and Works of Martha Graham

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Product Details

$35.00  $32.55
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publish Date
6.1 X 8.9 X 1.8 inches | 1.6 pounds

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About the Author

Deborah Jowitt was the principal dance critic at The Village Voice for more than four decades, and her work has appeared in The New York Times and Dance Magazine, among other outlets. Her previous books include the biography Jerome Robbins: His Life, His Theater, His Dance; the essay collection Time and the Dancing Image; and the critical works Dance Beat and The Dance in Mind. A former Guggenheim fellow, she has lectured and conducted workshops worldwide and taught in the Dance Department of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts for forty years. Her recent writings can be found on her ArtsJournal blog, DanceBeat.


"Errand into the Maze is . . . a study in balance and grace . . . Jowitt excels at describing, minutely, the work--restoring to readers the novelty of Graham's now-ingrained concepts; her conviction and distinct style . . . A distinguished biography: its description rich, its author's rigor unquestionable."
--Alexandra Jacobs, The New York Times Book Review

"As Deborah Jowitt describes [in Errand into the Maze] . . . [Graham] set worlds afire and built them anew from the ashes . . . Insightful."
--Sarah L. Kaufman, Wall Street Journal

"Gently magisterial and written with compelling fluency, Deborah Jowitt's Errand into the Maze is piercingly insightful about both the creativity and personal life of the choreographer Martha Graham. Even if you watched Graham's dances when she was living, you often meet her as if for the first time in these pages."
--Alastair Macaulay, former chief dance critic at The New York Times

"As Deborah Jowitt, a critic and former dancer, shows . . . Graham helped 'dignify' dance and elevate it from entertainment to art."
--The Economist

"Majestically reported . . . So many books about dancers shy away from writing about dance itself. Jowitt's makes dance the subject . . . Errand into the Maze . . . illuminates Graham, and yields the kind of deep inquiry around which one could develop an entire course."
--Mindy Aloff, Liber Review

"[A] stunning portrait of the doyenne of modern dance."
--Jerome Charyn, The American Scholar

"[A] portrait of a modern dance icon. Veteran dance critic [Deborah] Jowitt offers an authoritative, sensitive biography . . . Prodigious research informs an insightful [work]."
--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Deborah Jowitt lays the groundwork for [Graham's] revolutionary techniques and methods that reconfigured modern American dance . . . [Errand into the Maze] brings to light Graham's artistic vision as well as personal experiences that linked her life and work."
--Art in America

"Built on years of research, [Errand into the Maze] paints a well-informed portrait of the iconic artist, infused with anecdotes from Graham's life and bolstered by Jowitt's own expertise from years as a dancer, choreographer, and writer."
--Sophie Bress, Dance Magazine

"A rigorous, authoritative biography of [a legend] . . . Fans will thrill to this comprehensive account of Graham's boundary-breaking work."
--Publishers Weekly

"As a dancer and choreographer herself, and as a revered chronicler of the ethos of dance for over six decades, Deborah Jowitt takes us into the life and art of Martha Graham from an unmatchable perspective. Jowitt's embodied understanding of Graham's radical movement vocabulary, coupled with her deep and inimitable knowledge of the art form, offers us eye-opening access to the mysteries of the Graham legacy. This lyrical, readable biography brings to life the personal journey of a genius destined to revolutionize American art in the twentieth century and invites us inside the ephemeral masterpieces with which she changed the world."
--Janet Eilber, artistic director of the Martha Graham Dance Company