A dazzlingly honest, unblinking memoir, it is also deliciously written, authentically romantic and enormous fun to read.
— Phillip Lopate
Well-researched, eloquent, and entertaining, Flaherty’s book is not only a witty, incisive reflection on a beloved dance and its history. It is also an intimate celebration of dance, life, and the art of taking chances. A vibrantly intelligent reading pleasure.
— Kirkus Reviews, *starred* review
You know right away, as a dancer does, that you are in good hands.
— New York Journal of Books
Tango Lessons Cover.jpg

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(read by the author!)

 

Named one of the Most Anticipated Titles of 2018 by The Rumpus
A Rumpus Book Club Selection

An iBooks Most Anticipated Memoir & Biography of the Summer

A Charleston City Paper featured beach read for 2018

Named one of Hello Giggle's "11 life-changing new memoirs you need to read this summer"

One of the "Best Books of 2018 (So Far)" on Thrillist

One of 13 Debuts That Live Up To The Hype on Kirkus Reviews

Listen to Meghan interviewed on Book Talk with Kory French on BTRtoday

 

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."
 

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-wining author of NEGROLAND
 
There’s no other way to say it: Meg 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
 
From the first page, Tango Lessons engages, charms and inspires. Like the best memoirs, it tells a story of self-discovery that transcends the personal. In sensuous prose, Meghan Flaherty brings to captivating life her journey to recovery from trauma and heartbreak through the tango scene in New York City.
— Sari Botton, Essays Editor, Longreads; Editor, Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving & Leaving New York
 
This moving story of dancing into womanhood is unforgettable; readers will warm to Flaherty’s unassuming voice and marvelously rendered love of tango...
— Publisher's Weekly
 
Tango was [Flaherty’s] refuge. But as she eloquently describes in this searching memoir, this was no easy escape into a world of fishnet stockings and sassy heels. Instead, she learns that to truly tango requires dedication, perseverance, and a willingness to let go and embrace the unknown . . . Flaherty slowly finds her own axis, both in dance and in life. With an acolyte’s enthusiastic, detailed devotion, Flaherty traces how this demanding dance gradually led her to demand more for herself.
— Booklist
 
Not only is this Flaherty’s triumphant account of overcoming her fears after trauma and learning to follow her dreams and trust in herself, but it’s also a beautiful look at the history of tango itself.
— BookRiot
 
Flaherty’s writing contains moments of real beauty...
— Newsday
 
...consistently vibrant and entertaining, even for those who have little interest in dance; Flaherty is an intelligent writer who shows readers the joys of taking risks in life, why it’s important to “close [your] eyes and trust.”
— Charleston CITY PAPER