by Marina Palmer
When 30-year-old Palmer announced she was abandoning her Manhattan apartment, ditching her stressful advertising job and leaving the unhappy singles scene to take up professional tango dancing in Buenos Aires, her upper-crust parents were understandably dubious. Of course, the tango isn't just a dance—it's a grand metaphor for sexual pursuit. Beginning with a nod from the man, signifying his desire for a particular woman, tango continues in a series of moves resembling stylized foreplay. After a few agonizing years of trying to combine her Manhattan day life with a tango nightlife, in 1999, Palmer moved to Argentina. She spent almost every night until dawn dancing at various venues, occasionally bringing home a partner, and her trials on the dance floor—aching feet, battered shins—were only compounded in the bedroom. After absorbing five years of diary entries, readers will feel at home with Buenos Aires street life and almost accustomed to the retrosexual politics of the tango scene, so when Palmer says things like, "I wish all men knew how I long to be treated like an object," they sort of know what she means. Although feminists may bristle, other readers may well enjoy Palmer's engagingly reckless spirit.