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Salsa for People who Probably Shouldn't

Press release issued: 26 October 2011

Author Matt Rendell will talk about his new book Salsa for People who Probably Shouldn't at an event in the Faculty of Arts today (Wednesday 26 Oct, 5.30 pm in LR8, 21 Woodland Road).

There will be discussion and conversation chaired by Dr Jo Crow and Dr Matthew Brown of Bristol’s Department of Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American Studies, plus readings, wine, snacks, and salsa. All are welcome.

Salsa for People who Probably Shouldn't is a love story between two people from very different countries, one of them, Colombia, where salsa is learned at the same time children learn to walk, the other, Britain, where it is, at best, a rather obtuse hobby.

It is also a book about the history of salsa: how a repertoire of movements and rhythms crossed the Atlantic with enslaved Africans, and fed a long series of new forms throughout the Americas; the invention of salsa in New York, its transmission across the Spanish-speaking Caribbean, and the translation of a very Colombian variety of salsa from the city of Cali to London in the early 1970s.

It tells the story of Britain's invisible Colombian community and their forgotten contribution to British popular culture, but it is also a study of how a cross-cultural relationship provides each party with an outside viewpoint from which to consider their own identity afresh. It looks at minds, bodies and Britishness.

Linguist, writer and former academic Matt Rendell is better known as a reporter at the Tour de France and other international sports events for ITV, most recently, in the studio for the Tour of Spain on ITV4. He has written a number of award-winning sports-related books, three of them set in Colombia, the land of his second home. This is his first non-sports book.

The event takes place on Wednesday 26 October at 5.30 pm in LR8, 21 Woodland Road, Faculty of Arts, University of Bristol.

This event is coordinated by the Latin American Locus at the University of Bristol, under the auspices of the Bristol Book Festival.

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