Karen Shklanka: Spiritual Abandon

by Sandra Vander Shaaf

shklankaAs promised, here is another back cover blurb to tempt your appetite for Passionate Embrace:  Faith, Flesh, Tango.  Karen Shklanka is a local tanguera, poet, and physician.  We met in 2009, at the book launch party for her collection of poetry, Sumac’s Red Arms (Coteau Books) and have since become good friends.  I was honoured when she agreed to read my manuscript.  Here’s her endorsement:
Karen Shklanka, poet, author of Sumac’s Red Arms

Passionate Embrace is not only a nuanced description of falling in love with Argentine tango, it is a powerful story of healing.  Vander Schaaf leads the reader into the dance to share her experience as a beginning tanguera—the spark of curiosity, the awkward beginnings, the surprise of being held tenderly and respectfully in the arms of strangers, and the exquisite moment of spiritual abandon when she inhabits her body anew, awake once again to the unselfconscious joy of movement and beauty of her childhood self.  As a professional photographer, Vander Schaaf adds another dimension to the story.  Her subtle images transcend tango clichés and capture moments of connection and interiority, inviting the reader to discover this rich and complex social dance and its profoundly textured culture and community.”

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