Carolina De Robertis on YCBA 100 List of innovators “shaping the future of culture”

I’m incredibly honored to be included in the 2017 list, from Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, of “100 people, organizations, and movements shaping the future of culture.” This year’s list includes luminaries from a range of political and artistic fields, including Rachel Maddow, Claudia Rankine, Barry Jenkins, Jordan Peele, Jill Soloway, Colson Whitehead, Debra Cleaver, Roxane Gay, the Indivisible Project, Radio Ambulante, Jorge Ramos, and many more. (Full list here.)

Personally, I look at the other people and groups on this list and I think yes, that is exactly what I want, yes please — let us have a future shaped by these collective hands. Let us all keep moving forward, trusting in the meaning and value of the work we do, recognizing the legions who blazed the way to make our work possible, striving to do our own part in the service of visions for a better, more just world.

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RADICAL HOPE – the first four weeks

It’s been a full four weeks since the launch of Radical Hope: Letters of Love and Dissent in

Mona Eltahawy, Carolina De Robertis, and Boris Fishman at the RADICAL HOPE event at Strand Bookstore in New York.

Mona Eltahawy, Carolina De Robertis, and Boris Fishman at the RADICAL HOPE event at Strand Bookstore in New York.

Dangerous Times, with events in Oakland, San Francisco, and New York City, featuring an array of writers who contributed to the book.

There have also been kind reviews in Publishers Weekly, San Francisco Chronicle, The Atlantic, and elsewhere, as well as profiles, such as in the San Francisco Chronicle and over at KQED Arts. You can read an interview with Signature Reads or San Francisco State University, or listen to one on KPFA Women’s Magazine.

Also, the radio show Making Contact recorded our book launch party, at Laurel Bookstore in Oakland, on May 3, featuring stellar contributors Jewelle Gomez, Kate Schatz, Reyna Grande, Faith Adiele, and Aya de León, as well as editor Carolina De Robertis. You can listen here.

Jewelle Gomez reading from her contribution to RADICAL HOPE at the book launch party, Laurel Bookstore, Oakland, CA.

Jewelle Gomez reading from her contribution to RADICAL HOPE at the book launch party, Laurel Bookstore, Oakland, CA.

There are still exciting events ahead, from the Joyous Persistence gathering, featuring Elizabeth Warren and other leading speakers and change-makers, to the Bay Area Book Festival and the Booksmith Resists Series at Booksmith, San Francisco.

Above all, it has been profoundly inspiring to hold conversations with Radical Hope contributors in various forms and constellations, as well as with readers and members of our various communities, fomenting connection, stirring hope, and fueling up for the continued and ever-urgent work of shaping our society into the one we want, a society that embraces all of us and where all people can be safe and free. Talking, listening, writing, reading, truth-telling, protesting, raising our voices together — all of this matters. None of us is alone. We are in this together.

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Coming in May – RADICAL HOPE: LETTERS OF LOVE AND DISSENT IN DANGEROUS TIMES

I spent the weeks between the November 2016 U.S. election and the January 2017 inauguration in a blur, deep in the work of creating an anthology that is being rushed to the press by Vintage. I’m incredibly pleased to say that RADICAL HOPE: LETTERS OF LOVE AND DISSENT IN DANGEROUS TIMES will be published on May 2, 2016, featuring original essays from leading novelists, journalists, poets, playwrights, and political thinkers.

You can read more about the book and its contributors here.

The cover of RADICAL HOPE

The cover of RADICAL HOPE

It was featured in Publishers Weekly in December, and has since been profiled elsewhere, including in The Chicago Tribune:

“Pulitzer Prize winners Junot Diaz, Viet Thanh Nguyen and

Jane Smiley are among 32 writers contributing to a book of letters responding to the election of President Donald Trump….

‘The anthology offers readers an antidote to despair: it is a salve, a balm, a compass, a rallying cry, a lyrical manifesto, a power source, a torch to light the way forward,’ Vintage announced.”

I know that it’s a cliché to call a book a labor of love. But this collection has been that, every second of it — a labor of love and hope and keen resistance and absolute awe at the brilliance and power and heart of all these writers, the beauty and depth they have brought to these pages.

This book has nourished and inspired me more than I can say. I hope that it does the same for you.

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THE GODS OF TANGO out in paperback

I’m pleased to say that The Gods of Tango is now out in paperback in the United States, with a brand new cover design.

GODSPaperbackCoverIn celebration, I’ll be appearing at a launch party at Booksmith in San Francisco on May 26,  and at the Bay Area Book Festival on June 5 — as well as Radio Tango Angeles and the Stonewall Book Awards in Florida.

Also, I’ve written a guest blog at the Vintage Reading Group Center on “The Hidden History of the Tango.”

“I grew up accustomed to people knowing little or nothing about my countries of origin, and although the tango is in many ways highly visible in the United States—as a popular dance and as a romantic interlude in Hollywood movies—its true history and richness are rarely portrayed. I wrote The Gods of Tango in part to fill in some of those gaps, to bring to life, through fiction, the incredible hidden story of tango.”

You can read the rest here, as well as glimpse some footage of the remarkable singer Azucena Maizani performing in drag in the 1920’s — one of the many hidden treasures that make up tango history — which is, fundamentally, one thread in the great weave of Latin American history, women’s history, and the cultural history that reveals who we are, and who we can become.

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Stonewall Book Award and Other Spring News

What an honor: The Gods of Tango has received a Stonewall Book Award in Fiction from the American Library Association — the longest-running LGBTQ book award in the nation. You can learn more about the prize and the venerable list of past winners here.

I’ve been continuing to present The Gods of Tango at venues such as the

With Stanford University students, who gave an incredibly thoughtful and nuanced introduction to my presentation on The Gods of Tango.

With Stanford University students, who gave an incredibly thoughtful and nuanced introduction to my presentation on The Gods of Tango.

UC Riverside Writers Week, the Annual Fundraising Luncheon for the American Association of University Women, a reading in support of LitCamp, and a class at Stanford University that studied the book.

More happy news: the rights to The Gods of Tango have sold to a wonderful French publisher, Le Cherche Midi — so a French edition is now in the works, to join the translations into German, Norwegian, Polish, Italian, and Romanian that are already released or on their way.

There is also a new, extended interview with me in the Los Angeles Review of Books, conducted by the deeply intelligent Natassja Schiel, in which we discuss a wide range of topics connected to The Gods of Tango, gender transgressions, the hidden histories of Argentina, how novels are created, and many other things.

Finally, The Gods of Tango paperback will be out next month, on May 17th. I will be doing a few events in the Bay Area to celebrate. Thank you and stay tuned!

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With authors Cristina García, Janies Cooke Newman, and friends, at the Basement Series reading in San Francisco in January.

 

 

 

 

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Happy Holidays and Happy 2016…

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At the Miami International Book Fair, in November 2015, with novelists Chantel Acevedo and Dimitry Elias Léger.

Wishing everyone a beautiful holiday season and a joyous year to come. It’s been a full and wonderful fall, presenting my novel The Gods of Tango everywhere from San Francisco’s Litquake and the Miami International Book Festival to private book group meetings. As always, it’s fascinating to hear the enormous range of experiences readers can have with a book, and what it ignites for different people.

The Gods of Tango has additional international editions forthcoming in Norway, Poland, Germany, Italy, and Romania. And, happily, it was selected by the San Francisco Chronicle as one of the Best Books of 2015, and by NBC Latino as one of the Top Ten Latino Books of 2015.

At Litquake in September 2015 with Kate Farrell of the Women's National Book Association, Kathryn Ma, Kelli Estes, myself, Janis Cooke Newman, Lucy Sanna, and Julie Park Tracey.

At Litquake in September 2015 with Kate Farrell of the Women’s National Book Association, Kathryn Ma, Kelli Estes, myself, Janis Cooke Newman, Lucy Sanna, and Julie Park Tracey.

I have some events already lined up in 2016, including the San Francisco Writers Conference, Writers Week at UC Riverside, and a Literary Luncheon for the American Association of University Women. In May of 2016, the paperback version of The Gods of Tango will be launched, with a new cover (!) and more events to celebrate — please stay tuned for more details.

I wish any and all who read these words a safe and absolutely beautiful 2016. This last year has been one of great tumult and violence on our planet, as well as a few glimmering moments of progress (the climate change agreement in Paris; transformations sparked by Black Lives Matter; the legalization of gay marriage in the U.S.). Let us strive to keep focused on what matters most. To all peoples in all nations, peace, peace, peace, peace, peace.

A thank you card from a wonderful book group I visited in Oakland, CA this month, full of moving words. Small acts of kindness can have enormous power.

A thank you card from a wonderful book group I visited in Oakland, CA this month, full of moving words. Small acts of kindness can have enormous power. I am grateful.

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Editing and Coaching with Carolina De Robertis

I’m pleased to announce that I am currently available to offer coaching and editing services to writers of all levels.

You’ve just finished drafting a novel. You’re starting to dip your toe into memoir. You’re gathering your strength to pitch agents, self-publish, or apply to an MFA. Perhaps your MFA is years behind you and you long to finally burnish the book, you know, the one you never stopped thinking about. Or, perhaps, you’ve long dreamed of writing something, and seek support in pushing through whatever has kept you back.

Wherever you are in your writing journey, I can help you grow your work, discover your voice, or polish your manuscript until it gleams.

As an editor, I provide a close read of all work, combining sentence-level feedback with in-depth big picture insights that address issues such as pacing, dialogue, character development, plot, narrative tension, and point of view. I’ll help you identify places where the work sags, where it sings, and what would catapult it to the next level. Throughout the process, I combine my literary acumen with a deep commitment to supporting the text within the context of each writer’s unique vision.

As a writing coach, I can offer support, tips, and practical tools tailored to your needs–whether that’s launching a project, getting one polished, or creating a writing life that is both fruitful and fulfilling.

In addition to my own experience as an author of three books, I draw on my experience working with private clients over the years, as well as teaching at the MFA programs at the University of San Francisco, the Stonecoast MFA at the University of Southern Maine, and the California Insititute of Integral Studies. I have also taught creative writing workshops on three continents, in connection with international book tours.

Here are testimonials from former and current clients:

“Carolina De Robertis is a peerless editor with x-ray vision. Universally her critiques are compelling, razor-sharp and compassionate while designed explicitly to support what the manuscript hopes to achieve. Jump at the chance to work with Carolina, a masterful communicator, and a writer of such immense talent, breathtaking passion and boundless grace. I am thrilled that I did.”            —J.G.

“[Carolina] is that rare writer whose spirit is as big and generous as her writing. I found myself agreeing with all of her edits–both global and grammatical, and still cannot believe how seamlessly she accessed the many layers of the world I am trying to create in my writing. Her rates are incredibly reasonable, and I have grown as a writer from reading her very thoughtful feedback. And she really sticks to those deadlines! I will definitely be using her again.”    S. R.

“Carolina is an exquisite reader. She gave me insights into the text and story that were invaluable in taking my manuscript to the next level. She was also impeccably warm and professional in our interactions, a terrific coach and guide through the wilds of writing a book. I am lucky to have found her.”    —D.H.

“I love working with Carolina. She’s sweet, encouraging, smart, and always providing more details to inspire. I got to a place where I thought I’d lost my magic, but setting realistic deadlines and weekly/monthly writing goals has give me a sincere push towards my dream of publishing my complete collection of poems. And Carolina makes it feel easy, natural, and obtainable. The hardest part is accepting her genuine kindness and respect for my work and time.”     A. H.

I have a limited number of slots available at any given time. If you are interested, please send an email to carolinaderobertis@gmail.com, and we can go from there.

Above all, if you are writing, I wish you all the best with it. Don’t stop! And may your words thrive.

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A big enormous thank you

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With Parnaz Foroutan, author of THE GIRL FROM THE GARDEN, after reading together at Mrs. Dalloways in Berkeley.

I send out a big, enormous thank you to everyone who took part in my events for THE GODS OF TANGO in the past two months. A huge bow to the marvelous bookstores and libraries in San Diego, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Castro Valley, and Corte Madera, and all their dedicated staff who organized and hosted so gracefully. I am grateful to the many couples who danced tango in celebration of the book, and even taught the dance to the audience, as well as the cooks who baked empanadas or alfajores to give the events a cultural, festive flair.

I’m also grateful to the many wonderful journalists, critics, and bloggers who took the time to talk with me about the book (you can read or listen to interviews here).

And, of course, I am deeply thankful to the amazing audiences who turned out for events, who listened, reached for the book, and asked so very many intriguing questions. Novels don’t only hold stories and characters; they can also serve as portals into wider themes and reflections on the world, and, for me, the launch of THE GODS OF TANGO

My childhood friend, Argentinean-Italian writer Flavia Baralle, reading THE GODS OF TANGO on holiday in Tuscany.

My childhood friend, Argentinean-Italian writer Flavia Baralle, reading THE GODS OF TANGO on holiday in Tuscany.

has been an incredible opportunity for dialogue on themes including immigration, cultural identity, Argentina and Uruguay, music, sexual transgressions, the transgender spectrum, queer history, recent social evolution with regard to gay rights, and, of course, the rich true origins of the tango.

I still have some Bay Area events coming up this fall, as well as a weekend at the Miami Book Festival. For more details, feel free to click here.

I wish everyone a beautiful autumn–or spring, of course, depending on your hemisphere.

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THE GODS OF TANGO – a Best Summer Read

The Gods of Tango has been selected as a Best Summer Read of 2015 by BBC.com, Bustle.com, O – The Oprah Magazine, Omnivoracious (The Amazon Book Review), San Jose Mercury News, and Muses & Visionaries Magazine.

For review content, please click the above links or look here.

Or, you can listen to an interview on NPR.

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THE GODS OF TANGO is launched!

The Gods of Tango is now out in the world! Thanks to all who attended the packed launch party in Oakland, California. Thanks to A Great Good Place for Books for hosting so beautifully, and the Monclair Presbyterian Church for opening its doors to a literary event.

Thanks, too, to the incredible dancers Oxana Chernikova and Megan Yousef, who made the tango come alive with their grace and expertise.

Oxana Chernikova and Megan Yousef...

…dancing at the launch party for THE GODS OF TANGO.

...dancing at the launch party for THE GODS OF TANGO.

Oxana Chernikova and Megan Yousef…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I look forward to seeing more of you on book tour, this summer and fall! For more information on upcoming events, please click here.

Reading from THE GODS OF TANGO at the launch party, Oakland, California, July 7, 2015.

Reading from THE GODS OF TANGO at the launch party, Oakland, California, July 7, 2015.

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