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In the dirty, crowded, and impoverished immigrant barrios of Buenos Aires of 1913, a 17-year-old girl arrives with little more than some clothes and her grandfather's violin.

Her name is Leda, and she's the character at the heart of Carolina de Robertis' third novel, The Gods of Tango.

Leda, an Italian girl, was sent for by her cousin-husband, but widowed before her ship even lands in South America. She soon finds comfort and excitement in a new kind of music that's filling the city's courtyards, bars and brothels: the tango.

It's controlled after-school anarchy at the Christian-Carter household. Seven-year-old Chloe has rolled herself up in an exercise mat in the living room of the family's lovely Oakland, Calif., home.

"Look I'm a burrito," Chloe shouts.

Her 4-year-old sister, Jackie, swoops in for a bite — and a hard push.

"Ow!" Chloe shouts. "Mom! Jackie pushed me!"

When Secretary of State John Kerry goes to Havana to raise a flag over the soon to be reopened embassy this summer, it won't be just an important symbolic moment.

The administration says the U.S. will be able to station more American personnel in Cuba, and that should be a big help in practical terms as more Americans travel to and trade with the Cold War-era foe.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ERIC WESTERVELT, HOST:

Ladies and gentlemen, light your fuses.

(SOUNDBITE OF FIREWORKS)

Remembering 'Britain's Schindler'

Jul 4, 2015
Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ERIC WESTERVELT, HOST:

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