The Next Step in the Dance A Novel

Tim Gautreaux




Trade Paperback

352 Pages



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Bringing the same light and gentle understanding that graced his story collection Same Place, Same Things, Tim Gautreaux here tells the tale of Paul and Colette, star-crossed and factious lovers struggling to make it in rural south Louisiana. When Colette, fed up with small town life, perceives yet another indiscretion by the fun-loving Paul, she heads for Los Angeles, with big dreams and Paul in tow. Paul's attempts to draw his beautiful young wife back home to the Cajun bayou, and back to his heart, make up a novel filled with warmth, devotion, and majestically constructed scenes of Southern life.


Praise for The Next Step in the Dance

"Gautreaux chronicles the Louisiana landscape with loving precision and insight. Every sound, every smell, is just right . . . This is both an elegy for a disappearing way of life and a celebration of enduring values."—Susan Larson, The New Orleans Times-Picayune

"This is a mighty first novel, told with cinematic grip. With it, Gautreaux himself takes the next step in the moody, sweet dance of Southern literature."—GQ

"A smartly turned-out first novel, about the push and pull between a young Louisiana couple, that holds you snug and won't let go."—Entertainment Weekly

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Tim Gautreaux

  • Tim Gautreaux teaches English at Southeastern Louisiana University. His work has appeared in Atlantic Monthly, Harpers, GQ, Story, Best American Short Stories, and New Stories from the South. He is the author of the story collection Same Place, Same Things.