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What You Have Heard Is True: A Memoir of…
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What You Have Heard Is True: A Memoir of Witness and Resistance

by Carolyn Forché

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The poet recounts her time with leftist proto-FMLN revolutionaries just prior to the civil war in El Salvador.

The most interesting character is the mysterious small landholder, coffee farmer, guerillero, intellectual, Formula One racing fan, and perhaps C.I.A. agent Leonel Gómez Vides, who one day shows up in his truck at her house in San Diego without an invitation or introduction but only on the basis of a mutual friend and takes for granted that she will come back with him to El Salvador to be an American witness of the oppression by the military dictatorship that precedes the civil war. She tries to explain that in the United States a poet is a nobody and that he should find someone else. This surprises him, because in El Salvador a poet is a somebody.

This book vindicates the Salvadoran view that poets make excellent witnesses. ( )
  k6gst | May 24, 2019 |
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