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Tango: An Argentine Love Story Paperback – September 23, 2008

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Tango: An Argentine Love Story + Hold Me Tight and Tango Me Home + The Meaning of Tango: The Story of the Argentinian Dance
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Seal Press (September 23, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580052509
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580052504
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,938,974 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Tango has been the subject of several recent books, from Marina Palmer's Kiss and Tango to Irene D. Thomas and Larry M. Sawyer's The Temptation To Tango to Robert Farris Thompson's Tango: The Art History of Love. Cookbook author and novelist Cusumano, as her web site (www.camillecusumano.com) declares, "is a writer who dances tango," and here she recounts her journey toward self-awareness set in the context of an extraordinary year spent in Buenos Aires. According to Cusumano, tango—like yoga and Zen, which she also practices—is a way of life, and her keen and colorful observations of everything from the milongas (tango dance halls) and her dance wardrobe to the people she met and danced with to the neighborhoods she lived in and the foods she ate create a thoughtful account redolent with the sights, sounds, and tastes of her own tango experience. Cusumano's book is recommended for public library collections serving dancers, armchair travelers, and literary-essay fans.—Carolyn M. Mulac, Chicago P.L.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"In her memoir, the author’s accounts of passionate, sweaty tango dances are reinterpreted through her explanation of Zen. In this sense the reader comes to understand how tango, as Cusumano puts it, is not a “vice” but a “virtue”, as it becomes a way to fall in love with Argentina.
The Argentimes

"If you've ever loved and lost, Tango: An Argentine Love Story, by Camille Cusumano, will ring true. After a failed relationship, the author heads to Argentina--and finds mouthwatering cuisine, welcoming people, and a passion for dance. Though it may take two to tango, the lesson here is how to live happily on your own."
Shape Magazine

More About the Author

I have written for numerous publications, including National Geographic Traveler, Islands, Country Living, the San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. My memoir, Tango, an Argentine Love Story, was published in 2008 by Seal Press. I am the editor of the literary anthologies, France, a Love Story, Italy, a Love Story, Mexico, a Love Story, and Greece, a Love Story, all published by Seal Press (Berkeley, Calif.) I was a senior editor at VIA Magazine in San Francisco until 2005, where I covered travel out west and around the world. THE LAST CANNOLI is now available as an e-book!

Customer Reviews

It reads more like a novel, except it's all true!
Jack Deveny
I admit I don't know much about the whole Zen thing, but I always thought modesty was an important part of that way of thinking.
It is also about love beyond the conventional man/woman type.
Grace C. Becker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Grace C. Becker on December 27, 2008
Format: Paperback
If a picture is worth a thousand words, this book proves the reverse
may also be true---words can be as richly evocative as any image.
TANGO's words march across the page like vivid snapshots. It takes
you deep inside the culture of the dance, of Buenos Aires, a very
Italian city, to exotic corners of Argentina, like Iguazu and
Patagonia, to gaucho country, and barrios (or neighborhoods) all over
Buenos Aires. It never lacks for some visual detail to keep your
kinesthetic interest--whether the author is describing tango dancers
in La Boca who dip their soles in paint and dance on a huge canvas or
what the exotic parts of Argentine cattle taste like or what her many
dance partners smell like--(be thankful it's not scratch-and-sniff).
Be prepared for every known sense and some not yet named to be
aroused when you read TANGO, a love story with many facets.

The book opens when life takes some unexpected turns, and the author
rises to the challenge. She packs up a few suitcases and with only a
bare bones plan, takes off for Buenos Aires, Tango Mecca, Paris of
South America, a city that never sleeps. Her love life has fallen
apart, the gauntlet is thrown. That's the bad news. It's also where
the good news starts. She shows how we all rise from the ashes, new
life is always on the bud. There are a thousand and one ways to
redeem ourselves. Just hop on the bus, Gus. Slip out the back, Jack.
Try a new dance, Lance.

TANGO is a story about sudden travel---not the carefully planned
sort--- to a foreign place literally and figuratively. That is,
sometimes that foreign place is our self.
Read more ›
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Robert Le on October 25, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are overly dramatic and know a thing or two about tango, sure this might be the book for you.

For those who are immersed in social argentine tango and could do without the drama, then save yourself from this train wreck. I have no tears for this lady and only picked up this book because a group of tango friends thought it would be a good idea to have a book club night.

After reading this book, I felt like an emotional tampon. The author makes a grevious mistake by cheating on her boyfriend, rejects his marriage proposal then gets bent out of shape when a mutual friend goes for him leaving her out of the loop. She sulks in her own issues and finds herself in argentina where she goes through a journey of self discovery. Now I would be happy with a story about self-discovery, but it's the way the character/author acted in her self-discovery that makes me think that she didn't discover anything but an over-inflated ego. She talks about how she didn't really need the taxi dancer she hired and calls herself a tango goddess. Before I end up flipping a desk I'll just say this. If the author is reading this, I'm sure you meant well and I'm sure you poured your heart into this, but I don't find this story inspiring or sincere at all. Maybe I'm a cave man and missed the point, but it feels like I was reading about a bunch of baggage that someone wrote in their journal. I don't feel this story is sincere at all and if anybody, man or woman, claims themself to be some tango diety, After reading this book I felt emotionally drained and used. If I wanted to feel that way, I can just stop by any night club in hollywood and listen to every wannabe actor's sob story.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mist on April 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book is a very quick read, and I must say that it kept me wanting to read it all the way through. I loved every bit of the book that was about dancing and Buenos Aires. I absolutely love Argentina, and reading this book was like re-visiting my time there. On the downside, this book is the typical type of "memoir" that has recently become popular where someone has a unique experience, then decides to write about it (Eat, Pray, Love is the perfect example of this, and I thought that book was nearly worthless). I think there has to be some level of egotism involved to think that others would want to read about your experience, and that ego often shows up in an annoying sort of way in the book. As other reviewers pointed out, the author is a bit excessive in her self-praise. Clearly, she is a good dancer, but it would have been much more enjoyable to read if this part had been understated. I admit I don't know much about the whole Zen thing, but I always thought modesty was an important part of that way of thinking. The combination of these two (ego vs. Zen)makes for an incongruous narrative.

My three-star rating refers only to the book, and not my complaint here, but I also want to warn other customers that if you are buying this as a bargain book, you may not receive a book that looks very nice (important if you're buying it as a gift). This is probably the first time I've been disappointed in Amazon, but my book arrived looking like it had been buried in the dirt for awhile. The front and back cover had some kind of greasy dirty stuff all over, and the cover is peeling back from itself. Yes, sometimes you get what you pay for, but this book in no way seems new as it is supposed to be.
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