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‘Everything in him seemed to shout this is what I am made of: there is nothing that I cannot do.’
The Malambo is no ordinary dance. A murderous feat of endurance, it inspires fear and awe in the young working-class men who dance it. Whoever is crowned Champion at the annual competition in the remote Argentinian town of Laborde is treated as a demigod for the rest of his life – yet once he wins, he must never perform again.
Twenty-eight-year-old Rodolfo, who grew up poor and hungry in a flat with a leaking tin roof, has dreamed of winning at Laborde ever since he was a boy. Journalist Leila Guerriero follows him as he prepares for the championship, shredding his muscles, his feet and his nerves in the punishing, relentless struggle to achieve perfection – until, at 5.30am on 12 January, the winner is announced…
Combining electrifying storytelling and razor-sharp observation, this is a riveting true story of hardship, passion and dedication; of what it means to sacrifice everything to win, while knowing that ultimately it will destroy you.
Leila Guerriero (b. 1967) is one of Argentina’s foremost journalists and writers, and has published articles in numerous newspapers and periodicals in South America, Spain and Italy, including El País, Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone. In 2010, she won the CEMEX+FNPI Award, the most prestigious journalism prize in Latin America. A Simple Story is her first full-length publication in English.
‘Guerriero irrefutably proves that journalism can be one of the beaux arts’ Mario Vargas Llosa