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Dancing with Mao and Miguel Paperback – February 22, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 316 pages
  • Publisher: Division Street Books (February 22, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984928804
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984928804
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 5.2 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,820,349 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I grew up in Kalispell, Montana and spent my early years water skiing at Flathead Lake and hiking around Glacier Park. Colorado College is my alma mater, and after college in the Sixties it was off to Berlin, Germany for four years, where I organized G.I.s to oppose the Vietnam War, as well as checking out East Germany and traveling through Europe. After this fascinating experience in which I was introduced to radical politics for the first time, I moved back to America and worked in auto factories and a copper refinery in New Jersey trying to coax workers in a revolutionary direction. Much of the background material for my novel derives from those years.

After my son was born, I moved to Denver as a single mom and worked at Samsonite for three years making suitcases. But I always had a yearning to be a teacher, so I moved again--to Los Angeles, where I still live--to teach English as a Second Language.

After teaching for 17 years, I became a school librarian. When the buildup to the Iraq War started, I helped organize a peace and justice group to try and stop the war. We didn't succeed.

Over the years, I'd taken many workshops in creative writing, so after my retirement a few years ago, I began to write fiction. I wrote a few short stories, participated in as many writing critique groups as I could track down, and read like crazy. During NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in November of 2008, I wrote my first novel. Now three and a half years later, my finally published novel, Dancing with Mao and Miguel, is unrecognizable from that early draft.

You can read my tips on writing for novices on my website blog, as well as other blog entries: kkroger.com. Will I write another novel? I don't know. Right now I'm busy promoting this one. Then too, I have so many interests like activism, piano, photography, languages, Nonviolent Communication, travel. And life is short. However, writing is such fun that I don't know if I can stay away from it.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on March 16, 2012
Format: Paperback
Although a work of fiction, this is an important reminder of what happens when we let others who have a different agenda to lead
us down the wrong path. War is not healthy for chidden and other living things. I look forward to reading more of what Ms. Kroeger writes.
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By Sheridan Peru on April 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
Dancing with Mao and Miguel provided a tender and intimate look into its main character, Jenny Apple. It's one of the few books I couldn't put down. Although it's over 300 pages I finished it in a day and a half, literally becoming fascinated with Jenny's passions, doubts, loves and fears. The backdrop of the story, (Jenny is a member of a revolutionary political party doing factory organizing in New Jersey), was in itself riveting, as we witness the inhumane conditions the workers suffered and their solidarity and strength in organizing for decent conditions; yet the politics were mainly a background to the inner life of the main character, Jenny.

Shortly into the book I felt I knew Jenny. Her cares became my cares as I shadow danced with her through her young life. I was glad to see that although Jenny became disillusioned with the political sect she was involved with there was no bitterness or regret. It was simply a matter of her reaching a deeper truth within herself that caused her to part ways and become more her own person. Although the story contains its share of tragedies it is an upbeat account of an idealistic and sensitive girl coming of age in a fascinating period of our history.

This book is so well crafted that I'm amazed it is a first novel. Ms. Kroger paints such vivid images that I can easily imagine the story as a motion picture. I look forward to reading Ms. Kroger's future works!
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Format: Paperback
I had an enjoyable and provocative time reading Dancing with Mao and Miguel. It made me relive my own brief college flirtation with becoming a socialist revolutionary. It made me think about the similarities of the protests and social justice issues/changes of the 1960's & 1970's with the Occupy Movement of today. Read it and learn and laugh. Maybe reminisce if you are old enough. The book is well written and enthralling to read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
WOW! What a fascinating read! It started out for me a little slow- the translations were distracting and then-- I couldn't put it down. I found your insight into Miguel so real and so profound. One wonders throughout how much is autobiographical and how much is imagination or the knowing others so intimately.
In the beginning I tried to analyze how I could create such dialogue and then I got lost in just enjoying it. There was lots in there I could relate to, particularly the dogmatism, the immaturity of the "revolutionary", and the personal insecurity..
As an aspiring author, I marvelled at such dialogue!
It's a book well worth reading.
Roselva Ungar
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