Although we won't be able to arrive at a consensus about the issues raised in this thread, one thing seems clear: This is a novel, pure and simple, not a "novelization" based on solid research - the vaunted "hundreds of hours of documentaries and NYCB footage" do not exist, and neither Le Clercq nor her friends were talking; so, barring mediumistic intervention, there is no basis for the author's claim that Le Clercq's authentic essence has been tapped. This is what concerns me about the book - not its form, but its claims. These strike me as offensively opportunistic, even shameful. I would not have had such a strong reaction if the novel had been marketed as essential fabrication, rather than distilled essence - but then, who would have bought it?
There is an author's note in the book which describes more fully the extent of Ms. O'Connor's research. It includes at least one very important interview with someone who was on the European tour, and this has a major ramification in the book; viewing all of Le Clercq's available performances, both online and at the Lincoln Center Performing Arts Library; viewing hundreds of hours of documentaries and performances relating to Balanchine, his ballet predecessors, Le Clercq, Robbins, etc.; reading almost every book in English related to Le Clercq and Balanchine; Le Clercq's two books; examination of dozens of photographs, etc. The quote "hundreds of hours of documentaries and NYCB footage" does not mean hundreds of hours of Le Clercq dancing!
Actually I've done as much out of personal interest and in relation to a project I have been researching for some time - at least one interview with a member of the New York City Ballet during that astonishing period? Only one or two? Certainly, I will be fair and read it but her research is not all that mind-boggling as far as books or interviews go. I am not a person or writer of consequence but I reserve the right to be wary - and vent as long as the forum allows me to -
P.S. I think it was established earlier that "...hundreds of hours of documentaries..." do not exist. Hundreds of hours of footage?