Meghan Flaherty '13 Publishes Debut Memoir, 'Tango Lessons,' to Wide Acclaim

June 22, 2018

Tango Lessons book coverTango Lessons, a debut memoir that has been garnering praise and recognition from a number of outlets and literary voices, written by Alumna Meghan Flaherty '13 was named One of the Most Anticipated Titles of 2018 by The Rumpus.


The memoir follows Flaherty, a directionless 25-year-old Queens resident with a dull job and live-in boyfriend, as she picks up tango lessons after having been introduced to them during a high school trip in Argentina. She begins to discover new things about herself in the arms of her partners, and comes to terms with difficult family issues.


"In tango’s embrace, Flaherty learned to let go of her troubled past and find her own power and balance on and off the dance floor," according to a review in Publishers Weekly. "This moving story of dancing into womanhood is unforgettable; readers will warm to Flaherty’s unassuming voice and marvelously rendered love of tango, 'a sad thought danced.'"


Faculty member Margo Jefferson likened the book to "a first-rate piece of dance."


"Meghan Flaherty has written a wonderful book," Jefferson wrote. "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.”


And faculty member Phillip Lopate called the book: "A dazzingly honest, unblinking memoir, it is also deliciously written, authentically romantic and enormous fun to read."


In a starred review, Kirkus called Tango Lessons "well-researched, eloquent and entertaining."


“Flaherty’s book is not only a witty, incisive reflection on a beloved dance and its history," according to the review. "It is also an intimate celebration of dance, life, and the art of taking chances. A vibrantly intelligent reading pleasure."