“Part fiction, part memoir, A Second Chance at Dancing recounts a soul-searching quest reminiscent of the great 20th-century existentialist narratives, intensely personal but striking deep roots into the human condition. Tusa gives us not a string of events but a site of reflection, a circling down, as his narrator slowly opens a hidden emotional landscape. When the plot hits, it hits powerfully, but the real story remains the inner story.
“In some sense, the narrator, Michael, is everyman, too old for coming-of-age, too young for a mid-life crisis. He is a bit like Camus’s Meursault but laden with emotional content, a bit like Salinger’s Holden but more mature. With analytical precision – and an eye on the emotional limits of that analytical precision – he grapples with his budding career, with the siren call of the barroom, and with the meaning of life. And of relationships. But especially one relationship. Caroline. Caroline is pure and enigmatic, but sensual and present. One gets the sense that she too is just a human being, but that she alone can wedge something open in the narrator, something that gives him – and us – an ephemeral glimpse at something universal and very solemn about the human experience.”
—Gary Gautier, Ph.D., author of Hippies, Mr. Robert’s Bones, and Year of the Butterfly