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ON TOP OF GLASS by Karina Manta


My Stories as a Queer Girl in Figure Skating

by Karina Manta

Pub Date: Oct. 19th, 2021
ISBN: 978-0-593-30846-2
Publisher: Knopf

An ice dancer shares her journey toward self-discovery and love, offering words of encouragement and reflective insight on relationships, mental health, and competitive skating culture.

From the first time Manta set foot on the ice as a small child in Arizona, she fell in love with skating, a love that awoke her ambition to excel in the sport. Beginning with a comforting spoiler—a promise of a happy ending for an untethered, Uruguayan American, bisexual girl longing to find herself—Manta glides through the narrative of her competitive career, from adolescent figure skating to ice dancing for Team USA. Along the way, she visits memories that reveal her struggles with self-worth, intrusive anxiety, and friendship. Connection and community empower her to keep seeking herself and offer sweet dreams for a better future. Often speaking directly to her readers, Manta guides the conversational flow of her prose with honesty and gentleness. When she transitions into stories about her eating disorder, she pauses to give a tender warning and express understanding. Her exploration of sexuality validates the experiences of questioning and searching that expand beyond an isolated moment of coming out. At the same time, she holds herself accountable for her treatment of others. Similarly, as she questions and challenges the exclusivity of her sport, Manta acknowledges her own participation in these dynamics. Resolute and hopeful, this memoir swells with emotion.

Raw, kind, and close to the heart.

(Memoir. 12-18)