Cantoras: Book summary and reviews of Cantoras by Carolina De Robertis

Cantoras by Carolina De Robertis X
Cantoras by Carolina De Robertis
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2019
    336 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

From the highly acclaimed, award-winning author of The Gods of Tango, a revolutionary new novel about five wildly different women who, in the midst of the Uruguayan dictatorship, find one another as lovers, friends, and ultimately, family.

In 1977 Uruguay, a military government has crushed political dissent with ruthless force. In an environment where citizens are kidnapped, raped, and tortured, homosexuality is a dangerous transgression. And yet Romina, Flaca, Anita "La Venus," Paz, and Malena--five cantoras, women who "sing"--somehow, miraculously, find on another and then, together, discover an isolated, nearly uninhabited cape, Cabo Polonio, which they claim as their secret sanctuary. Over the next thirty-five years, their lives move back and forth between Cabo Polonio and Montevideo, the city they call home, as they return, sometimes together, sometimes in pairs, with lovers in tow, or alone. And throughout, again and again, the women will be tested--by their families, lovers, society, and one another--as they fight to live authentic lives.

     A genre-defining novel and De Robertis's masterpiece, Cantoras is a breathtaking portrait of queer love, community, forgotten history, and the strength of the human spirit. At once timeless and groundbreaking, Cantoras is a tale about the fire in all our souls and those who make it burn.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Rich and luscious, De Robertis' writing feels like a living thing, lapping over the reader like the ocean...A stunning novel about queer love, womanhood, and personal and political revolution." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"De Robertis does a fine job of probing the harsh realities of what it takes to carve out a life of freedom under an oppressive government." - Publishers Weekly

"Carolina's writing, as always, blew me away. Cantoras is a stunning lullaby to revolution—and each woman in this novel sings it with a deep ferocity. Again and again, I was lifted, then gently set down again—either through tears, rage, or laughter. Days later, I am still inside this song of a story." - Jacqueline Woodson, National Book Award winner and author of Red at the Bone

"Cantoras is a wise, brilliantly compassionate, wide-ranging novel about women in Uruguay, and about the power and realities of love. Carolina De Robertis is a force: prepare to be astonished." - R. O. Kwon, author of The Incendiaries

"A lyrical, richly sensory novel about a group of renegade cantoras—slang for queer women—who claim a beach refuge during the worst years of the dictatorship in Uruguay, and beyond. Together they steal time from oppression of all kinds, unspooling the infinity of themselves. Pointedly relevant to our own dangerous age, Carolina De Robertis has gifted us a majestic work of song and imagination, a handbook to survival for us all." - Cristina García, author of Here in Berlin

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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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