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The darker reality behind a gymnast’s smile or ballerina’s serene grace.

Hidden behind an Olympic gymnast’s smile or a classical ballerina’s serene grace is a darker reality, one involving grueling work and, often, physical and emotional pain. Megan Abbott, Edgar Award-winning author of the recent novel The Turnout, explores the insular worlds of gymnastics, ballet, and cheerleading and uses them to spotlight the damage that patriarchy can inflict on girls. Megan discusses with Eve and Julie how these microcosms reflect our tortured and damaging treatment of female sexuality generally and girls’ bodies more specifically. They talk, too, about the fleeting nature of beauty and of our bodies’ strength, and why that adds to the appeal of these worlds. Megan also addresses various responses to actions taken by Simone Biles to protect her mental health during the Olympics, and how those responses highlight how far we have--and haven’t--progressed.

Megan Abbott is the Edgar Award-winning author of the novels Give Me Your Hand; You Will Know Me; The Fever; Dare Me; The End of Everything; Bury Me Deep; Queenpin; The Song Is You; and Die A Little. Megan's writing has appeared in The New York Times; Salon; The Guardian; The Wall Street Journal; The Los Angeles Times Magazine; and The Believer. Her work has won or been nominated for the CWA Steel Dagger, The International Thriller Writers Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Formerly a staff writer on the HBO series The Deuce, starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, Megan is now a co-creator, executive producer, and showrunner of the USA Network show Dare Me, which was based on her novel.

The Turnout

Longlisted for the Joyce Carol Oates Prize

An Instant New York Times Bestseller

A TODAY Show #ReadWithJenna Book Club Pick

An NPR Book of the Year

"Abbott's novels are often described as crime fiction, and, while indeed she works with mystery and suspense and draws on noir and Gothic tropes, her goal seems less to construct intricate, double-crossing plot problems than to explore the dark side of femininity....In other words, Megan Abbott is a mood." The New York Times Book Review

“Abbott is a legend for good reason. No one combines the style of classic noir with the psyches of sophisticated men and women who are willing to do anything—anything—to succeed better than Abbott. Her latest is a dizzyingly fascinating story of a family-owned dance studio and the weight of unrequited ambition. An instant classic.” Washington Post

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