The True Memoirs of Little K
FSG, Nov 2 2010, $25.00
In 1971 as she nears her hundredth birthday, Mathilde Kschessinka begins to write her autobiography. Her memory remains keen as she knows every man who bowed to her and every dance she took as the prima ballerina assoluta of the Russian Imperial Ballet. When she was seventeen years old, Little K was already a highly regarded ballerina who catches the eye of the heir to the Russian throne Nikolai Romanov. Little K became his mistress, but he ended their tryst reluctantly when he became the czar and marries Alexandra. Not one to miss a step she turned to the grand dukes; but never remaining loyal with any of the royal cousins as her devotion remained with her Niki as he is the power that she desires; he returned to her for a short tryst leading to an offspring. Her ambition surpasses that of Lady Macbeth as Little K played the cousins in an effort to place her child as the heir over the sickly son of Alexandra. The Revolution led to her exile to Paris.
This is an engaging biographical fiction of a Russian diva who gives meaning to the word diva. Filled with the lead protagonist’s ambitious relationships with the Romanov family and with the ballet world, fans who relish either will enjoy the antics of the “prima ballerina assoluta.