The Unmaking of a Dancer sheds a blistering light on the raw, fiercely competitive and often vicious world of ballet: the truth behind the fiction of Black Swan . It's the story of Joan Brady's life in her own words. Ballet was the first thing Brady was good at; she really was good, too, performing professionally with the San Francisco Ballet at the tender age of fourteen. A bonus was that lessons and performances kept her away from her unpredictable father and formidable mother. But nobody can stay away for good, and when she finally made it into the New York City Ballet, her mother delivered a career-destroying blow. And yet with the help of the love of her life, Dexter Masters, she found another way of living and the chance for a family of her own.