The Gods of Tango: Book summary and reviews of The Gods of Tango by Carolina De Robertis

The Gods of Tango

by Carolina De Robertis

The Gods of Tango by Carolina De Robertis X
The Gods of Tango by Carolina De Robertis
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  • Published in USA  Jul 2015
    384 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

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Book Summary

February 1913: seventeen-year-old Leda, clutching a suitcase and her father's cherished violin, leaves her small Italian village for a new home (and husband) halfway across the world in Argentina. Upon her arrival in Buenos Aires, Leda is shocked to find that her bridegroom has been killed. Unable to fathom the idea of returning home, she remains in this unfamiliar city, living in a commune, without friends or family, on the brink of destitution. She finally acts on a passion she has kept secret for years: mastering the violin. Leda is seduced by the music that underscores life in the city: tango, born from lower-class immigrant voices, now the illicit, scandalous dance of brothels and cabarets.

Leda knows, however, that she can never play in public as a woman, so she cuts off her hair, binds her breasts, and, as a young man, joins a troupe of musicians bent on bringing tango into the salons of high society. As time progresses, the lines between Leda and her disguise will begin to blur, and feelings that she has long kept suppressed will reveal themselves, jeopardizing not only her music career but her life itself.

With evocative scenery, prose suffused with the rhythms of the tango, and a deep, resonant core, De Robertis delivers her most accomplished novel yet.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. There is something inherently alluring about the tango… [The Gods of Tango] captures that allure in a rich feast of history and human drama... Leda/Dante's strength of character finds a perfect home in De Robertis' strong narrative." - Booklist

"Starred Review. This beautifully realized work is as evocative and textured as the tango itself. De Robertis deserves to share fans with the likes of Isabel Allende and Julia Alvarez, not just for creating similar settings but for masterly storytelling." - Library Journal

"Makes for a poetic read, with De Robertis penning effortlessly lyrical sentences. The novel is true to its time and manages to be engrossing and believable... Beautifully written." - Publishers Weekly

"A plea to embrace 'the bright jagged thing you really are,' and De Robertis captures the enormity of that struggle." - Kirkus

"A sensuous and beautiful book, in which one woman's consuming passion for tango challenges convention, and shapes her identity. The Buenos Aires of the early 1900s is a vivid, dangerous place, and Carolina De Robertis takes us on an epic journey into its heart, and into the lives of the immigrants responsible for the birth of tango." - Saskia Sarginson, author of Without You and The Other Me

The information about The Gods of Tango shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Author Information

Carolina De Robertis Author Biography

Carolina De Robertis is the author of Perla and The Invisible Mountain, which was an international bestseller translated into fifteen languages, the recipient of Italy's Rhegium Julii Prize, and a Best Book of 2009 according to the San Francisco Chronicle; O, The Oprah Magazine; and BookList. Her writings and literary translations have appeared in Zoetrope: Allstory, Granta, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. She is the translator of Alejandro Zambra's Bonsái, which was made into a feature film, and Roberto Ampuero's internationally bestselling The Neruda Case. De Robertis has been awarded a 2012 fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

De Robertis grew up in a Uruguayan family that immigrated to England, Switzerland, and California. Prior to completing her ...

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