Solar Dance

Genius, Forgery and the Crisis of Truth in the Modern Age

Publisher: Vintage Canada

An acclaimed historian of the 20th century illuminates our current world, with its cults of celebrity and the crisis of the authentic. Solar Dance is a penetrating examination of legitimacy and truth, fakery and pretence--highly relevant to all of us today.


The face is soft and pleasant, the forehead high, the brow clean. This man in his early thirties has wavy auburn hair and a mouth, small and gentle, poised on the verge of a smile that nonetheless never comes. The eyes, too, have a tentative look— perhaps ready to dart fawnlike side to side. The hands, however, are...
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SHORTLISTED 2013 – BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction
LONGLISTED 2013 – Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction

"Brilliant.... Deeply researched.... An eye-opening and wide-ranging history of the Van Gogh cult.... Eksteins is a major historian and Solar Dance, like everything he writes, deserves a wide and attentive readership."
—Jeet Heer, National Post

"Incredibly original, erudite and ambitious.... Gives a clearer understanding of our cultural moment than just about anything published in ages."
—Literary Review of Canada

"Subtle and engaging.... Exposes the conditions that underwrite our own post-authentic, Lady Gaga world, with its tangles of celebrity culture, hyper-monetized art, politics-as-spectacle and mass-consumed 'truthiness'."
—Mark Kingwell, The Globe and Mail

"Eksteins has a knack for pinpointing moments in the rise of Modernism that expose the deep social forces that have shaped our world."
—The Wall Street Journal