Reviews of Tango Lessons by Meghan Flaherty

Tango Lessons

A Memoir

by Meghan Flaherty

Tango Lessons by Meghan Flaherty X
Tango Lessons by Meghan Flaherty
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published:
    Jun 2018, 320 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

From a dazzling new literary voice, a debut memoir about a young woman learning to dance tango, becoming comfortable in her own skin and in the arms of others.

Tango was an unlikely choice for Meghan Flaherty. A young woman living with the scars of past trauma, she was terrified of being touched and shied away from real passion. But by her late twenties, she knew something had to change. She dug up an old dream and tried on her dancing shoes.

In tango, there's a leader and a follower, and, traditionally, the woman follows. As Meghan moved from beginner classes to the late-night dance halls of New York's vibrant tango underground, she discovered that more than any footwork, the hardest and most essential lesson of the dance was to follow with strength and agency; to find her balance, regardless of the lead. And as she broke her own rule - never mix romance and tango - she started to apply those lessons in every corner of her life.

Written in wry, lyrical prose, and beautifully enriched by the vivid history and culture of the dance, Tango Lessons is a transformative story of conquering your fears, living your dreams, and enjoying the dizzying freedom found in the closest embrace.

Chapter 1

The studio was in an ordinary office building, on the second floor. I had only just enrolled myself, by index card and golf pencil, and now I stood in one of several rooms walled off by dark pink curtains, strapping on a pair of grandmotherly pumps. The maestro entered, heels slapping as he thrust himself across the floor. He wore a suit over a black T-shirt, like an eighties stand-up comic, and a ridge of curls hugged his slightly horsey neck. Immediately, he started giving orders in a clipped and thinly eastern European accent. The dance yes is to walk. Okay, begin.

We didn't walk. We practiced standing - with all our weight on one foot then the other, watching our ankles wobble in the mirror. My classmates were a pair of forty-something Asian women and some shrinking, balding men in stripes. We didn't speak. The ladies were asked to stretch up on the forefoot — balanced on the ball, heels elevated - a task that only made us wobble more. Then the maestro ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

I must say I was hesitant to accept that a memoir by such a young woman would be compelling. I'm happy to report that my reservations were unfounded. First, I started to fall in love with tango and by chapter four I'd dialed up a steady stream of the music on YouTube to accompany my reading. Then I became intrigued with Meghan and all of her and tango's anomalies, eager to find out how her journey would end. Finally, the smattering of Argentine history and culture she includes in Tango Lessons is fascinating...continued

Full Review (631 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.

(Reviewed by Donna Chavez).

Media Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Starred Review. A vibrantly intelligent reading pleasure.

Booklist
With an acolyte's enthusiastic, detailed devotion, Flaherty traces how this demanding dance gradually led her to demand more for herself.

Library Journal
An engaging memoir that will have readers looking for the closest tango studio.

Publishers Weekly
Thoughtful and entertaining ... This moving story of dancing into womanhood is unforgettable; readers will warm to Flaherty's unassuming voice and marvelously rendered love of tango.

Author Blurb Bronwen Dickey, author of Pit Bull: The Battle over an American Icon
Meghan Flaherty is simply an astonishing writer. Brimming with sensuous detail and sophisticated wit, every page of Tango Lessons seduces and rebuffs, beguiles and delights. This is easily one of the finest books ever written about dance, and every bit as graceful as the art itself.

Author Blurb Margo Jefferson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Negroland
As Virginia Woolf wrote, 'What a lark! What a plunge!' Meghan Flaherty has written a wonderful book...She is entertaining, thoughtful, and trustworthy because her self-examination - doubts, insecurities, grief - is never self-indulgent. I caught my breath at the end. Bliss indeed, those last sentences. I can't wait to read what she does next.

Author Blurb Phillip Lopate, author of To Show and to Tell and editor of The Art of the Personal Essay
A dazzlingly honest, unblinking memoir, it is also deliciously written, authentically romantic and enormous fun to read.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

Whitewashing Argentina

In her memoir Tango Lessons, author Meghan Flaherty says that tango is "more than its prurient reputation. It contains genres, movements, cultures, continents. It is both African and European, yet uniquely Argentine - and carries within it the early story of that nation. A nation built upon a heritage it would rather see obscured."

Between the 16th and 19th centuries millions of Africans were brought en masse to South America's shores to serve as slaves in Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and elsewhere. In Argentina, as in other countries, they were brought to work both in agriculture and as domestic servants. And although Argentine's National Constitution outlawed slavery in 1853, the practice continued until 1860 when a constitutional ...

This "beyond the book" feature is available to non-members for a limited time. Join today for full access.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Read-alikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Tango Lessons, try these:

  • The Electric Woman jacket

    The Electric Woman

    by Tessa Fontaine

    Published 2019

    About this book

    Tessa Fontaine's astonishing memoir of pushing past fear, The Electric Woman, follows the author on a life-affirming journey of loss and self-discovery - through her time on the road with the last traveling American sideshow and her relationship with an adventurous, spirited mother.

  • Hunger jacket

    Hunger

    by Roxane Gay

    Published 2018

    About this book

    More by this author

    From the New York Times best-selling author of Bad Feminist, a searingly honest memoir of food, weight, self-image, and learning how to feed your hunger while taking care of yourself.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search read-alikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

and discover exceptional books
for just $3.75 per month.

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Stories from the Tenants Downstairs
    Stories from the Tenants Downstairs
    by Sidik Fofana
    'Everybody got a story, everybody got a tale / Question is: Is it despair or prevail?' ...
  • Book Jacket: Fire Season
    Fire Season
    by Leyna Krow
    Fire Season is a thoroughly enjoyable novel that touches upon multiple genres and themes. It ...
  • Book Jacket: The Story of Russia
    The Story of Russia
    by Orlando Figes
    In The Story of Russia, British historian and writer Orlando Figes shares panoramic and ...
  • Book Jacket: Moth
    Moth
    by Melody Razak
    On August 15, 1947, India gained independence from the United Kingdom, and on that same day the ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The Ways We Hide
by Kristina McMorris
From the bestselling author of Sold On A Monday, a sweeping tale of an illusionist recruited by British intelligence in World War II.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Natural History
    by Andrea Barrett

    A masterful new collection of interconnected stories, from the renowned National Book Award–winning author.

Book Club Giveaway!
Win A Minor Chorus

A Minor Chorus

A debut novel from a rising literary star that brings the modern queer and Indigenous experience into sharp relief.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

Y Can't G H A

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.