Twelve Minutes of Love


Shortlisted for the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Awards

‘An exquisitely crafted blending of travelogue, memoir, dance history and some seriously good writing on the human condition. It delves deep into the obsessive nature of tango and vividly depicts a world full of beauty and heartbreak, love and loss.’ The Independent

‘Travel writing is dead, long live great travel writing. From New Zealand, to Edinburgh, Berlin and Buenos Aires, part travelogue, part memoir, this is a sexy step through the myths around tango and its physical, emotional and psychological layers. You will want to learn.’ GQ

‘This mix of travel writing, personal experience and history is something that Kassabova is frankly brilliant at… A wonderful mix of self-deprecating humour and genuine insight.’  Doug Johnson, Independent on Sunday

‘Kassabova is consumed by her subject, and her book is all the better for it … Warm, witty and deftly written, it’s an unapologetically personal tale, but in it Kassabova reveals so much more about tango’s allure and enigma than any more distanced study might.’ Time Out

‘Like the famous dance it depicts, this is a tale simmering with passion, love and trouble, with a strutting cast of likely and unlikely types to match.’ The Age, Australia


‘This is an exhilarating account of tango’s addictive character. In this beautifully crafted book, Kassabova expresses tango’s power and ritual, and its ability to reveal each person’s dance personality. With a neat twist, she ultimately exposes its illusions, locating its place in a journey that is both personal and universal.’ The NZ Listener

‘A captivating and elegant meditation on love, longing, travel and the art of the tango. Kassabova is a powerful new voice whose writing demonstrates, in every sentence, that nonfiction can be every bit as creative as fiction. She leads us on a journey over time and across continents. But 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 so gripped, I booked a tango lesson at one of the London clubs mentioned in this book. Read it and dance.’ Monique Roffey



Photography by Anthony Georgieff, Tango couple in Buenos Aires