Jacalyn writes both fiction and non-fiction books, articles, and short stories. Although she also writes occasionally for expat quarterlies, NPR Berlin, and gives local readings in English, her books are only available in German translation.
Was sagt das linke Knie zum rechten? What does the left knee say to the right knee? was published 1999 by eichborn.de, translated by Gertraude Kruger. Jacalyn’s first novel met with critical acclaim. In this post-modern tale, two cuckoos, trapped in an old clock in a village pub, alternately tell the tragic-comic tale of a young, handicapped girl in Brandenburg who manages to ‘escape’ from the village in the East and move to West Berlin.
“These are simple stories, if you will, simple stories from a small village in Brandenburg that time has passed by, but stories that tell us more about the world and life than many a celebrated Berlin novel; stories about guilt and love, a collective rape and incest, about a father’s love and misguided village gossip, and the more or less successful escapes out of the village as seen by a clock that ticks in 1996 the same as it would tick in 1976 or 1956.” Gerrit Bartels, TAZ
Almas Tanz Alma’s Dance, 2003, also published by eichborn, and translated by Gertraude Krüger. An aging and ambitious former Prima Ballerina from East Germany creates an exotic false past in order to appear more interesting as a choreographer in the hothouse world of professional ballet. She meets Jim, an American struggling in West Berlin who has a promising but fading career in modern dance, and who is a hopeless romantic. The fragility of their trust and respect mirrors the equally fragile professional worlds they live in.
„East and West, Ballet and off-scene meet in Alma’s Dance, fiction mixes with true stories from the 90s in Berlin. With humor and a fine sense of words, Carley takes us into Berlin’s dance-theater world: from the director of the opera, the ballet master, dance students who cry every time they have to execute a grand plié, to mean spirited dancers at the Komische Opera (former East) who do everything in their power to keep the ‚old’ ways, and are willing to take the ship down with them. But above all, Almas Tanz is a love story about the two broken and confused artistic personalities, who grow ever closer without noticing it themselves.“ Michaela Schlagenwert, Berliner Zeitung
“Amusing and highly ironic at once, it is, at times even a tragic Pas de deux, that Carley has her characters dance. A true reading pleasure, and not just for Ballet fans.” ft, Kultur news.de
“Aviva-Tip: written with ease, entertaining and worth the read!” Hilde Meier, reviewed 2013, AVIVA-BERLIN.de
Tanz um dein Leben: Meine Arbeit, meine Geschichte – Royston Maldoom Dance for your Life; My Work and my Story – Royston Maldoom, by Royston Maldoom and Jacalyn Carley, was published in 2011 by S.Fischer. Royston’s autobiography retells a moving and deeply influential life in the world of Community Dance, a dedicated life that has changed the face of dance and potential of the arts in Germany, if not all of Europe. The book takes the reader from his difficult childhood to places around the globe where Royston has impacted lives on every rung of the social ladder as no other choreographer has done, ever. This book was on the Spiegel Bestseller list for 20 weeks. Translation: Nora Lachman
“The choreographer Royston Maldoom’s philosophy about the transformative power of the dance, that every person has huge potential, is a philosophy that has proved itself 100 times over in practice. The stories are now available in the book he’s written with the Berliner, Jacalyn Carley. This autobiography presents us his learning curve and traveling years, the most important projects of this headstrong Brit, and an exemplary instance of how close are and life are. The zestful story telling is combined with reflections about dance, politics and education.” Sandra Luzina, Tagesspiegel
“Royston Maldoom is not a guru. In his book we get to know a pragmatist, a passionate optimist with a heightened sensibility for the beauty of each and every individual.” Carsten Hueck, Foyer – 3sat, 9.3.2010
Royston Maldoom: Community Dance – Jeder kann tanzen was published in 2010 by Henschel, trans: Nadine Püschel. The demand for information about Royston’s methods and pedagogy was, and still is, keen. Royston Maldoom: Community Dance–Anyone can Dance is both highly pragmatic (including many actual exercises) as well as filled with advice and thought-provoking notions about how, where community dance can be made – and who should do it! The handbook is geared towards the novice as well as the experienced community dance artist. “Whoever wants to learn why ‘discipline’ is not a bad word, and how one can make people receptive to learn and work hard until they feel a dancer in themselves – what pleasure can be derived – can follow this book step by step. Improvisation exercises are as important as solutions about costumes, lighting and set design in performance … all the way to the question as to how to engage an audience in discussion afterwards.” Wiebke Hüster, Detuschland Radio Kultur
“It was clever of Maldoom to turn put the writing into Carley’s hands. Through her, the book becomes an overall guidebook for realizing community dance projects—as opposed to his comprehensive autobiography. Maldoom is quoted time and again as the ‘spiritual pioneer’, yet Carley was able to uncouple his methods from his personality. … This guidebook is a decisive, successful beginning for documentation in the Community Dance movement. For dancers who are interested in this work, this is a practical book with many helpful tips and ideas.” Edith Wolf Perez, tanz.at