Monday, November 16, 2009

THE SUGARLESS PLUM: REVIEW & GIVEAWAY

GIVEAWAY ENDED
THE SUGARLESS PLUM

A Ballerina's Triumph Over Diabetes
BY ZIPPORA KARZ

ABOUT THE BOOK:
It started as the perfect story. Zippora Karz was a member of the famed New York City Ballet by the age of eighteen. By twenty she was starring as the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, dancing roles created by Jerome Robbins, and traveling the world. It was the stuff dreams are made of until, at age twenty-one, Karz became exhausted, dizzy and excessively thirsty. Heavy pancake makeup covered the sores under her arms that would not heal, but she neglected to go to the doctor. When she finally did, she was diagnosed with diabetes, and learned that if she continued to ignore her symptoms, she risked heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and amputation of her toes, feet and legs. She struggled to get the correct diagnosis and treatment, first thinking she had Type-2 diabetes, when in fact she had Type 1, juvenile diabetes. Once placed on an insulin regimen to regulate her blood sugar, she would inject herself with unsafe doses before going on stage in misguided attempts to obtain peak performance. The potentially fatal result of Karz's self-experimentation became all too real when she nearly lost consciousness. Her weight dropped and she became dangerously ill.

Balancing ballet and her blood sugar would be a long and difficult struggle forKarz, but eventually she learned to value her body and work with it, rather than rage at its limitations. In The Sugarless Plum, Karz shares her journey from denial, shame and miseducation about her illness to how she led an active, balanced and satisfying life as an insulin-dependent diabetic and soloist with one of the world's most famous ballet companies. Through her fascinating story, those struggling with diabetes and other serious illnesses can find encouragement and inspiration as well as practical advice on achieving physical and emotional wellness.

After sixteen years with the New York City Ballet, Karz retired and took her passion and skills into a whole new arena as a diabetes educator and advocate, where today she inspires people to not just manage their illness, but to thrive and fulfill their passions. The Sugarless Plum takes readers deep into the heart and soul of a young dancer, and is a remarkable testament to determination and perseverance.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Zippora Karz, author of The Sugarless Plum:A Ballerina's Triumph Over Diabetes, danced with the New York City Ballet from 1983 through 1999. She now serves as a teacher and répetitéur for the George Balanchine Trust, rehearsing and staging Balanchine's choreography for a host of international dance companies. She is also a diabetes spokesperson and educator who regularly addresses major diabetes conferences and organizations worldwide. She lives in Los Angeles, California.



REVIEW/REACTION:
THE SUGARLESS PLUM tells a real life story of being a prima ballerina and all that comes with it. Zippora Karz tells this story, her memoir, having been the former soloist of the New York City Ballet where she was well known for her portrayal of the Sugar Plum Fairy in Tchaikovsky's THE NUTCRACKER from 1983 through 1999. In her own words she tells what the rest of us can't even imagine about the joys but more so all the pain and the work, the hardship and the let downs that all ballerinas go though.

Karz writes about the physical battle a ballet dancer experiences as the norm: the calluses and blisters, bent or dislocated toes, and from sore feet to even broken bones. The daily routine of hours of workouts and practice at the ballet barre only to race to exhale with relief at seeing your name posted on the bulletin board as one who got a part, or to square your shoulders and lift your quivering chin and walk away with dignity after yet another rejection.

The story Zippora tells is filled with honesty as she describes her world as really compared to that of a competitive athlete. She started out in the lower ranks and worked her way up through schooling and then the ballet companies. She talks about her ambitions in her life both in her dance and her personal life. She goes on to describe the rigorous life she was living and feeling surely that her exhaustion and other symptoms she began to experience were a result of her work ethic. However, Karz eventually goes on after much pain and suffering, trial and error, to find that she has Type 2 Diabetes.

Thinking naturally that this will end her career--her life, she pushes on and changes her diet and keep on her medication that is prescribed. She is well aware of what can happen if she does not. All this only to eventually find that she has Type 1 Diabetes instead, and that it would surely mean insulin injections for life. Now she feels her body has betrayed her for sure. Karz is emotionally and physically drained even as she continues to dance to the delight of the audiences on stage only to collapse and be exhausted off stage. What she once thrilled at, the leaps and turns, are now sheer agony but she won't let it show.

This is a beautifully written, honest story of a ballerina, the Sugarplum Fairy star, but it isn't a magical fairy tale ending. Rather it is a motivational and courageous tale of a woman who decides that this is her life and she will deal with it with grace and tenacity and not let it put an end to her dream.

It is here where we see the strength of this woman who is a third generation dancer and not one to give up. Her story is truly inspirational and can be a motivator to others with not only Diabetes, but facing other life challenges. Zippora writes how she managed her condition and was still able to have a brilliant career. You see photographs of her at work and even with her mother and grandmother--the three generations of ballet. She shares her personal and professional life as well as a source of reference materials near the end that can be helpful to anyone facing this condition. She has become an advocate and spokeswoman for diabetes and has made that her goal. This is not a woman to pity, this is a survivor who has written a book to inspire and show how life may change the part in which you are cast, but you can still dance to your own tune.

GIVEAWAY

THANKS TO CAITLIN AND MY PALS
AT FSB ASSOCIATES, I HAVE TWO COPIES
OF THIS WONDERFUL BOOK TO GIVE AWAY!
Snowflake
RULES:

--U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES, PLEASE
--EMAIL MUST BE IN YOUR COMMENT!!
--EACH ENTRY MUST BE A SEPARATE COMMENT
TO COUNT OR ELSE IT COUNTS AS ONE
HOW TO ENTER:

+1 ENTRY: COMMENT ABOUT THIS BOOK OR THE REVIEW AND SOMETHING YOU THINK WOULD MAKE YOU WANT TO READ IT, OR NOT.

+1 MORE ENTRY: GO TO ZIPPORA KARZ WEBSITE AND READ HER BIO SECTION AND COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FOUND THAT ISN'T DISCUSSED IN THIS POST.

+1 MORE ENTRY: GO BACK TO THE CHRIS DREAMS BIG POST AND IF YOU HAVEN'T READ IT, YOU MIGHT WANT TO SINCE HE IS AN ATHLETE WITH DIABETES AND HIS BOOK IS ONE OF THE THREE YOU CAN WIN IN THE "BINGLE BELLS BUNDLE #1 OF KIDS BOOKS" THAT ENDS NOVEMBER 16. COME BACK AND TELL ME IF YOU READ ABOUT HIS COURAGEOUS EXPERIENCE WITH DIABETES AND ONE THING YOU LEARNED FROM THAT POST.

PLEASE DON'T FORGET THAT NOVEMBER IS NATIONAL DIABETES MONTH!

ALL ENTRIES MUST BE IN BY
6 PM, EST, NOVEMBER 30



GOOD LUCK!

35 comments:

g.g. said...

My Goddaughter took ballet from the time she was a young child and I know that it is lovely to watch but grueling to do and I can't imagine what it must be like to throw this medical condition into the mix!

anjamie4 AT gmail dot com

g.g. said...

I found out that she also works for the George Balanchine Trust.

anjamie4 AT gmail dot com

g.g. said...

Chris Dudley's book would be a good book for young kids with diabetes to read to see they can live a full life

anjamie4 AT gmail dot com

Alyce said...

I would love to read this book because I always wanted to have dance lessons when I was a kid, but it wasn't something my parents could afford. Since then I have loved to watch and read about dance. (I'm really too uncoordinated to do much of it myself, so watching and reading are the next best thing.)

akreese (at) hotmail (dot) com

bermudaonion said...

I think I'd like this because I love memoirs and I dreamed of being a dancer when I was a child. milou2ster(at)gmail.com

traveler said...

Thanks for this lovely book giveaway. A memoir such as this should be treasured since it is heartfelt and emotionally beautiful. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I found out that she is an educator and speaks at conferences. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

Chris Dudley founded the Chris Dudley foundation for kids with diabetes. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Martha Lawson said...

This sounds like a really heartbreaking and uplifting read. Please count me in..

I am a follower.

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

anne said...

Many years ago I took ballet lessons and took part in recitals. It was enjoyable at the time. What a wonderful review and giveaway. The strength and ability this young woman has is remarkable. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

anne said...

She is presently a speaker, educator and a spokeswoman for the George Balachine Trust. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

BevE said...

I'm always drawn to books about diabetes as my mom was Type 2. The Sugarless Plum is a great title.

BevE
slawoszewski(at)yahoo(dot)com

Benita said...

I think every little girl dreams of becoming a ballerina. I was no exception. I'd love to read about this very courageous dancer and the obstacles she had to deal with.


bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

Benita said...

In her bio section, I found out that choreographers such as Peter martins choreographed solely for her.


bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

Benita said...

I read about Chris's courageous experience. Chris Dudley's NBA career included stints with the Cleveland Cavaliers, New Jersey Nets, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers as well as the New York Knicks.

bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

bekki1820cb said...

I read the review and about the book. I have a deep love for Ballet. My sister and I both were ballet dancers as teens. Neither of us dance anymore and were never at the level that Zippora was (although, if we hadn't moved, I am sure my sister would have gone further)but I still think about those days. I would love to read this. Thanks for the chance! bekki1820cb@gmail.com

Beth (BBRB) said...

The author doesn't seem like a very nice person, but the story sounds interesting.

BethsBookReviewBlog AT gmail DOT com

Esme said...

intersting that she is diabetic and a ballerina-

chocolate and croissants at yahoo dot com

ossmcalc said...

Diabetes also runs in my family. It skipped my generation. One of my nephews has Type 1 Diabetes. We have all learned through him how to eat better and control our sugar. I would also like to read this book for inspiration as I have systemic lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoporosis. Even though our diseases are not the same, I still feel inspiration from others who have not given into the disease.

Thank you,

Christine
womackcm@sbcglobal.net

ossmcalc said...

She is not only a diabetes educator but she also serves as a teacher and repetiteur for the George Balanchine Trust, rehearsing and staging Balanchine’s choreography for a host of national and international dance companies.

thank you,

Christine
womackcm@sbcglobal.net

ossmcalc said...

I did read the story about Chris who was the first player with Type 1 Diabetes to play Professional Basketball.

Thank you,

Christine
womackcm@sbcglobal.net

ossmcalc said...

Identify and detach from negative thoughts.

Thank you,

Christine
womackcm@sbcglobal.net

Winning Readings said...

My daughter loves ballet, and I'd like the insider's story to some of the risks involved.

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

wmmahaney said...

Many years ago I read a wonderful biography of the ballerina Anna Pavlova. The story was fascinating even though my only ballet experience was as a 5 year old. :) This book also sounds very interesting. I would love to read it
wmmahaney(at)att(dot)net

wmmahaney said...

She stages ballets and coaches performers around the world.
wmmahaney(at)att(dot)net

Esme said...

She now serves as a teacher and repetiteur for the George Balanchine Trust,

chocolate and croissants at yahoo dot com

~The Book Pixie said...

I'd love to win this book. It sounds so original and diabetes is a huge problem on my dad's side of the family and then I have a little cousin on my mom's side who has juvenile diabetes. Plus I love the incorporation of dance and the fact that it is a true story.

~Briana
thebookpixie[at]yahoo[dot]com

enyl said...

As a type 1 brittle diabetic, I'm intrested in learning about successful treatments.
enyl@inbox.com

enyl said...

Learned that the author is dedicated to educating othters about the dangers of diabetes, by becoming a diabetes educator.
enyl@inbox.com

enyl said...

As a brittle diabetic who has had to give up tennis, raquetball, cycling, and any vigorous activity that last longer than 30 mintes at a stretch, I am very impressed with Chris Dudley's success story.
enyl@inbox.com

MUM said...

A ballerina dealing with diabetes. Now that is orignal. It sounds like it is going to be a very touching book.

Marie
utah91960[at]yahoo[dot]com

Julie said...

I am pre-diabetic. This book sounds so interesting/reading about her struggles..

aunteegem@yahoo.com

Nancye said...

This books sounds like a wonderful book! I can relate to this because my husband also has diabetes and it affects his life every day.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I learned that "in 2000 Zippora helped create an interactive, school age educational program with NYC Ballet’s education department about the history of music and dance."

She sounds like an amazing person!! A definite role models for those with or without diabetes.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I learned from Chris that "His life is forever changed when he realizes that challenges do not always have to keep you from doing the things you love."

A lesson we can all learn.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

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