You, Fascinating You

Classics, General Fiction, Romance

By Germaine Shames

Publisher : Pale Fire Press

ABOUT Germaine Shames

Germaine Shames
        Germaine Shames, has written from six continents--soon to add the seventh--on topics ranging from the Middle East crisis to Aboriginal land rights, from the struggle to save the Amazon to the plight of street children.         Shames is author of the critically-accla More...



Behind Every Great Love Song is an Unforgettable Woman.

In the final weeks of 1938, in the shadow of Kristallnacht and imminent war, a heartsick Italian maestro wrote a love song called “Tu Solamente Tu”. Its lyrics lamented his forced separation from his wife, the Hungarian ballerina Margit Wolf, in the wake of Mussolini’s edict banishing foreign Jews from Italy. The song, first recorded by Vittorio de Sica in 1939, catapulted to the top of the Hit Parade and earned its composer the moniker “the Italian Cole Porter”. The German version, Du Immer Wieder Du, would be performed by Zarah Leander, the foremost film star of the German Reich, and its English counterpart, You, Fascinating You, by the Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band. Twenty-two years would pass before the maestro and his ballerina again met face-to-face. Based on a true story, You, Fascinating You begins as a backstage romance and ends as an epic triumph of the spirit.

"A love story reminiscent of that of my grandparents.  I could not put it down."   Kinga Nijinsky Gaspars

“Germaine Shames’ beautiful depiction of the life of Margit Wolf and Pasquale Frustaci is told with such vivid and haunting detail, it's as if the reader is propelled back in time to witness a devastating journey of shattered dreams, juxtaposed with the strength and courage of the human heart. A tragic story, beautifully written.”
Susan Jaffe, “America’s quintessential ballerina”

"Shames captures the essence of a ballerina with such expertise in her riveting story.  Dancers succeed by creating beauty from effort; this book, too, shows that exquisite art can be made from history's hardships."   Elana Altman, soloist dancer, San Francisco Ballet

"Germaine paints a vivid and accurate portrait of the world of ballet in pre and post war Europe.  The epic drama expected on the ballet stage is dwarfed by the tragic real life events of her ballerina heroine, Margit Wolf.  Penetrating descriptions of political brutality and the prepossession of romantic love, an ever present theme in classical ballet, make for a page-turning, impelling read."
Janet Panetta 
ballet master Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch

"Compelling, heart-wrenching and heroic!"
Jim Bencivenga
Christian Science Monitor

'In this heartbreaking and original novel based on the life of Hungarian ballerina Margit Wolf, Germaine Shames has crafted a story that will absorb readers fascinated not only by history and art, but romantic obsession. From Wolf's touching point of view, we see a valiant Jewish artist swept along by a combination of political horrors and her unfailing passion for her husband, famed Italian composer Pasquale Frustaci,who refuses to help her and her son escape from brutal life under the Nazis occupying Hungary.  Shames's faithful, carefully researched portrayal of Wolf's blindness and history's cruelty makes this a compelling read."
Elizabeth Evans
author of The Blue Hou