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Anna’s Dance: A Balkan Odyssey

Michele Levy

Category: Drama, Romance

In 1968, Anna Rossi, alienated from her Jewish roots, flees Washington for Europe. On an unplanned Balkan trek, she befriends a mysterious East German smuggler and marries a charismatic Macedonian separatist. When Bulgaria’s regime murders him and imprisons her, she must fight to save herself and their unborn child.

Anna Rossi is an alienated twenty-three-year-old Jewish-American girl. Her story unfolds in 1968, as global conflicts rage against autocracy, colonialism, patriarchy, and racism. Her background and journey highlight the history of antisemitism in America and the Balkans. As the trip immerses her in other cultures and leads her into love and loss, Anna faces the tragic results when nations suppress minorities.

Steeped in Jewish and Balkan history, Anna’s Dance links marginalized ethnicities, including African Americans, Jews, and the various Balkan peoples, their lives often cruelly affected by identity politics: internalized negative stereotypes that warp the sense of self and heritage, leading many to “pass,” or an ardent ethno-nationalism that can end in genocide. Thus, though set in 1968, the novel explores concerns that plague us still.


“Anna’s Dance is a tender, evocative account of a young woman’s reckoning with her past and the intergenerational trauma of the Holocaust set in the smoldering context of Eastern European political intrigue in the 1960s — an informative, beautiful, and romantic odyssey of self-discovery.” (Lisa Butts for IndieReader)

“Michele Levy delves purposefully into this sensitive topic with honesty and impartiality. Although the story takes place decades ago, the tensions and brutalities Anna faces ring just as true today.” (Jordan Ehmann, Indies Review)

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