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The Gods of Tango: A Novel Audiobook, by Carolina De Robertis Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Carolina De Robertis Narrator: Carolina De Robertis Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2015 ISBN: 9781491593653
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From one of the leading lights of contemporary Latin American literature—a lush, lyrical, deeply moving story of a young woman whose passion for the early sounds of tango becomes a force of profound and unexpected change.

February 1913: seventeen-year-old Leda, carrying only a small trunk and her father’s cherished violin, leaves her Italian village for a new home, and a new husband, in Argentina. Arriving in Buenos Aires, she discovers that he has been killed, but she remains: living in a tenement, without friends or family, on the brink of destitution. Still, she is seduced by the music that underscores life in the city: tango, born from lower-class immigrant voices, now the illicit, scandalous dance of brothels and cabarets. Leda eventually acts on a long-held desire to master the violin, knowing that she can never play in public as a woman. She cuts off her hair, binds her breasts, and becomes “Dante,” a young man who joins a troupe of tango musicians bent on conquering the salons of high society. Now, gradually, the lines between Leda and Dante begin to blur, and feelings that she has long kept suppressed reveal themselves, jeopardizing not only her musical career, but her life.

Richly evocative of place and time, its prose suffused with the rhythms of the tango, its narrative at once resonant and gripping, this is De Robertis’s most accomplished novel yet.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A rousing tale of sex, violence, exhilaration, poverty, luck, and redemption…De Robertis is as ambitious and audacious as her beguiling protagonist.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Sensuous, thoughtful, and beautifully rendered.”

    Huffington Post

  • “Ambitious…De Robertis masterfully navigates the sensuous world of Buenos Aires’ rich musical heritage and writes bravely and compassionately.”

  • “There is something inherently alluring about the tango…[The Gods of Tango] captures that allure in a rich feast of history and human drama…Leda/Dante’s strength of character finds a perfect home in De Robertis’ strong narrative.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Makes for a poetic read, with De Robertis penning effortlessly lyrical sentences. The novel is true to its time and manages to be engrossing and believable…Beautifully written.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “De Robertis brings a beautiful voice to the history and intensity of the tango in this coming-of-age romance of early-twentieth-century Buenos Aires…None of the passion is lost in De Robertis’ narration. Character differentiation is almost flawless, and De Robertis’ accent adds much to the flavor of the setting and the characters. The transvestite star of the story, Leda/Dante, is well handled as she switches between genders. De Robertis’ narration is so good that, while there are technically no voicings, each character seems almost as distinct as those performed by a narrator using multiple voices.”


  • “A plea to embrace ‘the bright jagged thing you really are,’ and…De Robertis captures the enormity of that struggle.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • An Oprah Pick of 10 Titles to Pick Up Now

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About the Author

Carolina De Robertis was raised in England, Switzerland, and California by Uruguayan parents. She is the author of two previous novels, Perla and The Invisible Mountain—a Best Book of 2009 according to the San Francisco Chronicle, Booklist and O, the Oprah Magazine—the recipient of Italy’s Rhegium Julii Prize, and a 2012 fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her permanent home is in Oakland, California.