By Carolina De Robertis,

Book cover of Cantoras

Book description

"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–winning…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Cantoras as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Five women find salvation in each other in a beachside hamlet on Uruguay’s eastern coast. With no running water or electricity, the isolated Cabo Polonio becomes their sanctuary, a place where these cantoras (women who "sing”) can exercise their voice – something denied them as queer women under the Uruguayan dictatorship of 1970s and 80s.

The book follows the friends over the span of 35 years as they continue to return to this family home of theirs, sometimes together, sometimes with new lovers. Beautifully written, the book is brimming with heart and is a testament to the power of activism…

I love a novel that introduces me to new settings.

Cantoras takes place in 1977 Uruguay, a time and place when queerness is dangerous. And yet De Robertis’s lesbian characters form a heartbreaking family and they find a beautiful secret place to meet. This group of women is so believable on the page, as they fall in and out of love, have their quarrels, and search for meaningful relationships with each other and their families.

A totally refreshing novel!

From Lucy's list on not-the-same-old queer stories.

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