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“In her energetic debut novel, the sprawling literary thriller Dancing with the Tiger, Lili Wright straddles borders and genres… Take [a] high-stakes game of keepaway, add several pairs of lovers, and you have everything you could want in a summer caper. But Dancing with the Tiger has literary ambitions as well. It strives to comment on grief, love, citizenship, the human spirit, the impulse to wear a mask (whether literal, as here, or metaphorical) and a host of other elevated themes. Quite often, it hits the mark.

Toggling among nearly a dozen points of view, Wright demonstrates her range as a storyteller… The result is a novel that vacillates in tone and genre. At times the narrative is as heavy as the air before a storm, wrestling with life’s persistent questions; at other times it zips along, aiming [for] thrills and surprises… [A] real romp; chapters end like old-school cliffhangers. Peppered throughout, blocks of delightful prose enjoy a laugh at the novel’s (and the genre’s) expense [and] every page is shot through with golden threads of striking images…

The chorus of the many voices of Oaxaca – expats, tourists and locals alike – creates a siren song that keeps you turning the pages. This novel has much in common with Anna’s favorite drink, the margarita, said to be the brainchild of an American Mexiphile: It’s salty-sweet, refreshing and more powerful than you think.”
 —Tayari Jones, The New York Times

“A whirling tale of art and its sometimes sordid acquisition… [In] short, punchy chapters… [Dancing with the Tiger] races through the antics of…[a] rapacious cadre of thieves, collectors, murderers, bounty hunters and art lovers… [Wright] explores the ethical implications of collecting and its scent of exploitation [and] takes us into the underground world of art laundering, where stolen objects are washed clean by corrupt dealers with fake provenance papers… [Lots of] valuable insights to unearth in this wild novel.” —Ron Charles, Washington Post Book World

“Drug lords, grave robbers, and art dealers battle it out in Wright’s action-packed novel… This is a fast-paced adventure story that has deeper points to make about cross-cultural differences and the possibility of common ground.” —The National Book Review

“A smoky, suspenseful Mexico-set thriller for your summer reading list, [Dancing with the Tiger] is a fast-paced, immersive exploration of place and cultural veneration of the sacred object… [like her character The Looter, Wright] is obsessed with peeling back our layers of self-imposed protection, with exposing the details in the overlooked cracks of the world.” —Outside Magazine

“Descend into Mexico's underground art world with this literary thriller. American Anna Ramsey navigates the colorful, and sometimes dangerous, streets of Oaxaca in search of the legendary funerary mask of Montezuma.” —National Geographic Traveler

"A fast-moving [and] intricately wrought thriller. Clearly written with great care, the novel plumbs the depths of love and obsession in complex yet delicately woven themes… [a] journey of self-discovery [set] within a powerful story full of danger and pathos that will appeal to fans of Megan Abbott, Denise Mina, and Minette Walters.” —Booklist, starred review

"Fantastic… a fresh, non-stop story that will appeal to fans of all types of suspense fiction.” —Suspense Magazine

"A rollicking combination of art and archeology, forgeries, drug deals, and tourists, Montezuma, murder, and love. Dancing with the Tiger is smart, sexy, and extremely suspenseful. Block out some time — once you start, you won't be putting it down." —Karen Joy Fowler, author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves and Black Glass: Short Fictions

"A gripping and powerful story of artifact smuggling and drug dealing in Mexico, driven by Lili Wright's deep compassion for the people and place she writes about." —Jess Walter, author of Beautiful Ruins and We Live in Water

"An entrancing, provocative, and utterly beguiling debut. Like its heroine, Lili Wright's Dancing with the Tiger is so vibrant and alive you can practically feel the pages humming beneath your fingers. Not to be missed." —Megan Abbott, author of Dare Me and The Fever

"From sentence to sentence, Wright provides a literary theme park of noir thrills and cross-cultural conflict. Her talents as a storyteller are only exceeded by her skill in portraying the desperate brilliance that a centuries-old MacGuffin brings out in her characters. A Raymond Chandler engine inside a Megan Abbott chassis with detailing by Graham Greene. Wright is the early millennium novelist that we deserve...for our sins." —Dan Barden, author of The Next Right Thing

"Dancing with the Tiger is built on beautiful sentences the way a spider web is built on silk. Pleasing also is Lili Wright's wisdom regarding the human condition, present on every page. Her elegant and vital sentencesalso travel in service to what is surely one of the most intricate plots of the year; but first and foremost, the sentences: one will follow them almost anywhere." —Rick Bass, author of The Lives of Rocks and All The Land to Hold Us

"It is a sexy, headlong descent into art and addiction, as hallucinatory and revelatory as a shot of mescal. Lili Wright creates a rogue's gallery of saints and sinners obsessively pursuing Montezuma's death mask, even as death dances in their midst. Fierce and fast paced, this is an urgent novel of ideas." —Sheri Holman, author of The Dress Lodger and Witches on the Road Tonight

“Smart and vivid, Dancing with the Tiger turns all the gears — and with gusto — from sex to gun play to old lost treasures in Mexico. As the ancient stolen mask changes hands, this novel delivers.” —Ron Carlson, author of Return to Oakpine

"This book is one of those literary novels that transcends genre — several, in fact: it contains romance, mystery, suspense, and history. Yet at heart its greatest gift is the care with which it's written. A superb success." —Antonya Nelson, author of Funny Once and In the Land of Men

Photo Credit:  ms.akr


"Funny and honest. This is a woman's intimate journey into the past, so she can avoid the same mistakes with a man of her future. We should all be so courageous." —Post and Courier, Charleston

"Witty . . . brutally honest. Learning to Float has taken the familiar troubled figure of the single woman and rescued her from social ambivalence. in Wright's hands, she's all that she can be—sexy, introspective, and an enormous amount of fun." —Hartford Courant

"(Learning to Float) insightfully explores the excruciating process of finding love and discovering yourself." —Book magazine