Heart of Tango


Heart of Tango
Elia Barceló, translated by David Frye
2010, McLehose Press
184 pages

FANCY A bit of romance while travelling to Buenos Aires, but don’t want to pick up a Mills and Boone for fear of what your intellectual friends may say? Then this book is for you. Two strangers living in different European cities are mysteriously drawn by their passion for tango to meet in Argentina, and in this way they unravel a haunting tale of passion that began in the 1920s. Barceló, who teaches Spanish language and literature at the University of Innsbruck, tells this story with a very fluid and unassuming, yet effective style. She empathises with her characters and plays with them, making them flow melodically with the sadness, elegance and sobriety of a tango song. The pictures of a long gone Buenos Aires can be imagined in a dusty, lantern-lit streets in sepia. In contrast, the lives of the characters living in this century are represented as an impassionate cool blue. And throughout the novel you can feel the passion and curiosity that tango has inspired in young and old around the world. It doesn’t have the sauciness of an M&B novel, but it’s good enough to get you started when you hit the barrio la Boca. – GJ

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