Faith in Carlos Gomez
A Memoir of Salsa, Sex, and Salvation
By Samantha Dunn
(Holt Paperbacks, Paperback, 9780805080162, 224pp.)
Publication Date: July 14, 2005
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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A writer's all-consuming passion for salsa opens the door to an unexpected world in a nonfiction tale with all the sexiness and humor of the best chick lit
Samantha Dunn is a horsewoman who's not exactly graceful-more comfortable in a barn than in a ballroom. Her introduction to salsa dancing happens by chance in a kitchen during a dinner with a blacksmith from South America. To impress this handsome man on their next date, she decides to take a dance lesson. But then the unpredictable happens: from the first steps, something about the movement and the exotic, sliding music takes hold of her.
From that point on, Dunn throws herself into the salsa culture. She soaks up the Spanish language-an easy feat in her home city of Los Angeles-and begins a peculiar relationship with her dance instructor, a local salsa celebrity. What started off as a lark becomes a quest that reframes her life, changing the way she thinks about her body, her relationships with men and women, her personal history, and even her country. She is hearing tropical rhythms in her head, taking lessons, buying Lycra, and cruising unexplored sections of the vast Southern California metropolis on weeknights in search of the sweaty, packed salsa clubs. And as Latino culture becomes ever more influential in California, she is recognizing the changes in her own life mirrored in the city she thought she knew.
Faith in Carlos Gomez is a story of a woman discovering love-for salsa dancing, for music, for a culture, and for Carlos Gomez-and determined to learn whatever steps she'll need to keep up.
Samantha Dunn is the author of Not by Accident and the novel Failing Paris, which was a finalist for the PEN/West Award. Her writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, InStyle, Shape, Self, and numerous other national publications. She lives in Southern
"Samantha Dunn, who could be the synthesis of Sophia Loren, Simone De Beauvoir, and Dale Evans, has written an unflinchingly honest and extremely funny memoir. Here we get dance as seduction, dance as sex, and dance as salvation. Faith in Carlos Gomez is a moving and amusing chronicle of love, the loss of love, and the picking up the pieces to a salsa beat. This book is pure joy."
--Binnie Kirshenbaum, author of An Almost Perfect Moment