Tango Lessons

TANGO LESSONS

Meghan Flaherty

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.

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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.

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  • Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Hardcover
  • June 2018
  • 0544980700

Buy the Book

$26.00

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About Meghan Flaherty

Meghan Flaherty has an MFA in nonfiction from Columbia University. Her essays and criticism have appeared in the Rumpus, the New Inquiry, and the Iowa Review. She lives in Palo Alto, California, and Tango Lessons is her first book.

Author Website

Praise

Named one of the Most Anticipated Titles of 2018 by The Rumpus
An iBooks Most Anticipated Memoir & Biography of the Summer
Rumpus Book Club Selection

“As Virginia Woolf wrote, ‘What a lark! What a plunge!’ Meghan Flaherty has written a wonderful book. Encountering tango, she encountered a series of cultures and histories: that of the dance itself; that of its impassioned students, teachers, and acolytes in New York and elsewhere; that of her own very particular desires. Like a first-rate piece of dance, she’s gotten the proportions right: the small details, the sweep of the whole, the use of space, scenery, the group, and the solo players. 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.”Margo Jefferson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Negroland

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

“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.”Bronwen Dickey, author of Pit Bull: The Battle over an American Icon