An expat Californian building a new life via the tango in Buenos Aires since 2003, including information on learning the tango and where to dance it in Buenos Aires.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Church of Tango: a Memoir, published January 21, 2012


I started writing this story at the time it began--in February of 1992, when I was so depressed after my husband's death I wanted to swallow all of his left-over meds and follow him into the beyond. So what began in a way as a journal or diary became the chronicle of my road to survival in four countries. And once I made that decision to live no matter what tragedy came my way, I plugged on, through one tremendous loss after another, by dancing. No, not yet had the tango found me, but whatever dance there was at the time came to my rescue. I had always been a dancer, and now I knew dance could save me from despair.

As my adventures unfolded, the manuscript grew and grew. I had to make cuts in events, characters, reflections and realizations. That was the hardest part of bringing this story to fruition. There is so much left out. Who knows, maybe I'll write The Daughter of the Church of Tango, or a prequel one day.

Our students come from all over the world: China, The Philippines, Australia, Viet Nam, New Zealand, Hawaii, South Africa, India, Nepal, Finland, Russia, Israel, Scandinavia, all over Europe, Chile, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Canada and the U.S. And one question almost all ask me is, how did I end up teaching tango in Argentina?

This book is my answer.

Lots of women have come to Buenos Aires for tango, stayed a while, and went home and wrote about their experiences. There are a couple of tango histories available in English, as well as a couple of Buenos Aires milonga guide books. There are self-help books using tango as a way to better interpersonal relationships. There are some novels about tango in Buenos Aires.

My memoir is not like any of them; it is not a "tango book," but a story of survival that cuts across death, cancer, Alzheimer's, loss of home and homeland and cherished heirlooms and possessions, loss of shared histories, of hope for one's children, of hope for the future, of love. But it's also about finding love and unexpected joy. And about listening to the music and dancing.

It can be ordered from the printer online:

Now available on Amazon and soon as an ebook for Kindle.


Donigan Merritt said...

Cherie, again, congratulations on this accomplishment; I know how hard it is.

Please post something or send me a note as soon as it can be ordered from Amazon. I am looking forward to reading it as soon as possible.

I like the cover a lot, by the way.

Dieudonne said...

Congratulations Cherie! I love your writting style, I will be looking forward to read it.

tangocherie said...

Thanks to both of you for your kind words! And it's now available on Amazon, Don.

Elizabeth Brinton said...

My copy is on it's way.
So excited for you and happy that I know you.

Katie said...

Cherie, I know this book has been a long time coming, but I imagine that writing a story this personal is a process--one that can't be rushed. I'm really looking forward to reading it. Congratulations!