Long After Midnight at the Niño Bien: A Yanqui's Missteps in Argentina

Front Cover
William Heinemann, 2008 - Argentina - 247 pages
0 Reviews
In 1999, 22-year-old Brian Winter packed his bags and headed for Buenos Aires. He learnt the language, got to know the people and suffered with them as the peso bottomed out. And he became infected by an Argentine obsession – the tango.Since its birth in the city's streets and brothels in the 1880’s, tango has remained a heartbeat of Argentine life, a barometer of its rising and falling fortunes. Flourishing in the grand milongas – dance halls – of Buenos Aires' early-twentieth century Belle Epoque, its supremacy was later challenged by the emergence of rock & roll, and condemned by notorious President Juan Peron. But tango survived to enjoy a renaissance in Argentina and across the world.The Prettiest Girls in the World explores Argentina through its obsession with the dance, telling of Winter’s adventures in the sexy, over caffeinated late-night world of Buenos Aires’ tango halls. We meet local characters like ‘El Tigre’, a merchant marine turned tango professor and B-movie star, who has danced everywhere from Algeria to Japan; El Tano, a spectacularly foul-mouthed insurance salesman who scraped by for 30 years in Milwaukee giving tango lessons; and Hugo, a wiry mechanic who sometimes goes a whole week without sleep but manages (thanks to a dozen espressos a night) to cultivate a baker’s dozen of stunning groupies.The tango at its heart is escapism, pure and simple – ‘the vertical expression of a horizontal desire’; perhaps this explains why the milongas are so often packed to capacity at 4am on a Monday night... Part travel narrative, part memoir and part cultural history of a remarkable and troubled country and the dance that epitomizes it, The Prettiest Girls in the World provides insight into the Argentinian soul.

What people are saying - Write a review

LONG AFTER MIDNIGHT AT THE NIÑO BIEN: A Yanqui's Missteps in Argentina

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Greenhorn American decides on a whim to move to Argentina and learn to tango.In 2000, just out of college, Winter packed up and headed to Buenos Aires to see what might happen. Little did at first ... Read full review

Long after midnight at the Niño Bien: a Yanqui's missteps in Argentina

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Winter (coauthor, with Fernando Henrique Cardoso, The Accidental President of Brazil) writes a compelling tale of his days in Argentina, living through the turbulent economic crisis between 2000 and ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2008)

Brain Winter is a reporter for Reuters. Having lived in Buenos Aires from 2000 to 2004, he is now based in Mexico City. He is the co-author, with the former Brazilian President, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, of The Accidental President of Brazil.

Bibliographic information