Media Center: ‘Gods of Tango’ by Carolina De Robertis
WHO: Carolina De Robertis
WHAT: THE GODS OF TANGO, a novel
WHEN: Published by Knopf July 7, 2015
WHERE: The story is set in Argentina.
WHY: “A rich feast of history and human drama.
“There is something inherently alluring about the tango, the Argentine music and dance that originated in the early years of the twentieth century in the dockside bars of Buenos Aires.
“De Robertis’ latest novel captures that allure in a rich feast of history and human drama that explores the immigrant experience of Italians attempting to take advantage of the economic opportunities promised by the rapidly developing Argentine Republic, voiced nearly as vociferously as promises held out by the American Republic in the Northern Hemisphere. The author chooses one particular character to follow through the frightening series of episodes that make up the whole experience, from dangerous transit from Old World to New to having to squarely face a world of strangers to then having to find a livelihood in a foreign place.
“In 1913, Leda sails to Buenos Aires, where her fiancé had gone earlier, only to find that in the meantime he has died in a labor demonstration. Boldly, she resolves to stay put, and brazenly, once she hears the tango tunes by which she is surrounded, she decides to master the violin. Even more brazenly, given the restrictions on female participation in the tango scene, she assumes full drag and renames herself ‘Dante.’ Leda/Dante’s strength of character finds a perfect home in De Robertis’ strong narrative.”
—Brad Hooper, in a starred review for BOOKLIST
“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.”
—Jennifer B. Stidham, in a starred review for LIBRARY JOURNAL