Twelve Minutes of Love | Granta

  • Published: 05/07/2012
  • ISBN: 9781846272851
  • 129x20mm
  • 336 pages

Twelve Minutes of Love

Kapka Kassabova

Kapka Kassabova first set foot in a tango studio ten years ago and, from that moment, she was hooked. With the beat of tango driving her on and the music filling her head, she’s danced across the world, from Auckland to Edinburgh, from Berlin to Buenos Aires, putting in hours of practice for fleeting moments of dance-floor ecstasy, suffering blisters and heart-break along the way. Here, in sparkling, spring-heeled prose, Kapka takes us inside the esoteric world of tango to tell the story of the dance, from its Afro roots to its sequined stars and back. Twelve Minutes of Love is a timeless tale of exile and longing, death and desire, love and belonging.

In prose as elegant and seductive as the tango itself, Kapka Kassabova leads us on a journey over time and across continents, above all a journey of the heart.

Aminatta Forna

This is more than a book about dancing. It is about people, places, movement, love, trouble, a journey. I was gripped... Read it and dance.

Monique Roffey

This mix of travel writing, personal experience and history is something that Kassabova has done before and she's frankly brilliant at it. [This] is sharp, clever and engaging, a wonderful mix of self-deprecating humour and genuine insight.

Doug Johnstone, Independent on Sunday

The Author

KAPKA KASSABOVA is a poet, novelist and writer of narrative non-fiction. She grew up in Sofia, Bulgaria, and now lives in the Scottish Highlands. Her acclaimed memoirs Street Without a Name: Childhood and Other Misadventures in Bulgaria (2008) and Twelve Minutes of Love: A Tango Story (2011) were followed by Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe (2017) which won the British Academy’s Al-Rodhan Prize for Global Cultural Understanding, the Saltire Scottish Book of the Year, the Edward Stanford-Dolman Travel Book of the Year, and the inaugural Highlands Book Prize. It was short-listed for the Baillie-Gifford Prize, the Bread and Roses Prize, the Duff Cooper Prize, the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Awards (USA), and the Gordon Burn Prize. Her new book is To the Lake: A Balkan Journey of War and Peace (2020). She has written for the Guardian, Vogue, and 1843 magazine. kapka-kassabova.net

More about the author →

From the Same Author

Kapka Kassabova on Granta.com

Essays & Memoir | Granta 151

The Lake

Kapka Kassabova

‘The chalky mountain separates the lake from its higher, non-identical twin, but only overground. Underground, they are connected. Ohrid and Prespa: two lakes, one ecosystem.’

In Conversation | Granta 151

Edinburgh Book Festival Special | Podcast

Kapka Kassabova & Peter Stamm

In this special Edinburgh Book Festival edition of the Granta Podcast Laura Barber talks to Kapka Kassabova (Street Without a Name, Twelve Minutes of Love) and Peter Stamm (Seven Years) about the often paradoxical relationship between writing and place.

Essays & Memoir | Granta 151

The Magic Place

Kapka Kassabova

‘My arrival in Edinburgh seven years ago was almost a blind date.’