From the highly acclaimed, award-winning author of The Gods of Tango, a revolutionary new novel about five wildly different women who, in the midst of the Uruguayan dictatorship, find one another as lovers, friends, and ultimately, family.
In 1977 Uruguay, a military government has crushed political dissent with ruthless force. In an environment where citizens are kidnapped, raped, and tortured, homosexuality is a dangerous transgression. And yet Romina, Flaca, Anita “La Venus,” Paz, and Malena–five cantoras, women who “sing”–somehow, miraculously, find on another and then, together, discover an isolated, nearly uninhabited cape, Cabo Polonio, which they claim as their secret sanctuary. Over the next thirty-five years, their lives move back and forth between Cabo Polonio and Montevideo, the city they call home, as they return, sometimes together, sometimes in pairs, with lovers in tow, or alone. And throughout, again and again, the women will be tested–by their families, lovers, society, and one another–as they fight to live authentic lives.
A genre-defining novel and De Robertis’s masterpiece, Cantoras is a breathtaking portrait of queer love, community, forgotten history, and the strength of the human spirit. At once timeless and groundbreaking, Cantoras is a tale about the fire in all our souls and those who make it burn.
“Carolina’s writing, as always, blew me away. Cantoras is a stunning lullaby to revolution — and each woman in this novel sings it with a deep ferocity. Again and again, I was lifted, then gently set down again — either through tears, rage, or laughter. Days later, I am still inside this song of a story.” – Jacqueline Woodson, National Book Award winner and author of Red at the Bone
“Cantoras is a wise, brilliantly compassionate, wide-ranging novel about women in Uruguay, and about the power and realities of love. Carolina De Robertis is a force: prepare to be astonished.” – R. O. Kwon, author of The Incendiaries
“A lyrical, richly sensory novel about a group of renegade cantoras — slang for queer women — who claim a beach refuge during the worst years of the dictatorship in Uruguay, and beyond. Together they steal time from oppression of all kinds, unspooling the infinity of themselves. Pointedly relevant to our own dangerous age, Carolina De Robertis has gifted us a majestic work of song and imagination, a handbook to survival for us all.” – Cristina García, author of Here in Berlin
R. O. Kwon’s nationally bestselling first novel, The Incendiaries, is published by Riverhead (U.S.) and Virago/Little Brown (U.K.), and it is being translated into five languages. Named a best book of the year by over forty publications, the novel is an American Booksellers Association Indie Next #1 Pick and an Indies Introduce selection.The Incendiaries was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Award for Best First Book, Los Angeles Times First Book Prize, and Northern California Independent Booksellers Association Fiction Prize. Kwon’s next novel, as well as an essay collection, are forthcoming.
Please note: this event will be held at The Bindery, 1727 Haight.
This is an all ages event. The bar opens at 7pm; event starts at 7:30pm.
As with all of our events, seating may be limited; you can guarantee a seat by pre-purchasing the book below — when checking out, just be sure to include a note that you’d like to attend the event. If you cannot attend the event but would like to request a signed copy of any of Carolina’s other books, order here and include your request in the comments field; for R. O.’s book, order here and do the same.