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

Author:   Carolyn Forche
Publisher:   Penguin Books Ltd
ISBN:  

9780241405581


Pages:   400
Publication Date:   26 March 2020
Format:   Paperback
Availability:   To order   Availability explained
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What You Have Heard Is True: A Memoir of Witness and Resistance


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Overview

Carolyn Forche is 27 when a mysterious stranger calling himself Leonel appears on her doorstep, having driven direct from El Salvador. A friend has heard rumours about who he might be - a communist, a CIA operative, a sharpshooter, a revolutionary, a small coffee farmer - but nobody seems to know for certain. Captivated for reasons she doesn't fully understand, she accepts his invitation to visit and learn about his country, and becomes enmeshed in the early stages of a civil war which will see a state turn death squads on its own people and over 100,000 dead. Told across peasant shanties, retired generals' grand homes, protest marches and safe houses on the run, this is the powerful true story of a woman's radical act of empathy and her fateful encounter with an intriguing man who will change the course of her life.

Full Product Details

Author:   Carolyn Forche
Publisher:   Penguin Books Ltd
Imprint:   Penguin Books Ltd
Dimensions:   Width: 12.90cm , Height: 2.30cm , Length: 19.80cm
Weight:   0.292kg
ISBN:  

9780241405581


ISBN 10:   0241405580
Pages:   400
Publication Date:   26 March 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  General ,  Tertiary & Higher Education
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Availability:   To order   Availability explained
Stock availability from the supplier is unknown. We will order it for you and ship this item to you once it is received by us.

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Reviews

Forche ... writes with a startling, visceral clarity about grotesque events ... With her poems, and now with this exceptionally well-written and engrossing memoir, [Forche] has borne witness, remembered, tried to see. She has spent many years of her life telling the stories of El Salvador ... What You Have Heard Is True paints a stark, tangible and unforgettable picture of a nation descending into civil war and raises fascinating questions about the role of the observer ... Her writing has a way of scratching images into the memory * Daily Telegraph * Forche looks with a poet's acute grasp of sensory detail ... She meets priests, poets, campesinos, retired generals ... She runs from death squads, acknowledges American complicity in Salvadoran military's tactics, searches for the bodies of friends dumped on the black sand beaches. One can imagine this memoir being made into a film in the mould of The Killing Fields ... Written with great care, this clear-eyed memoir and its evocative black-and-white photos bear powerful witness to the atrocities committed by a government to repress its own impoverished citizens * Daily Telegraph * Her memoir traces her journey from political innocence to experience, and, in doing so, offers a model to others who might take the same journey . . . She remembers as much as possible, and the resulting memoir, once read, is difficult to forget * The Atlantic * Extraordinary . . . Written with a thriller writer's knack for narrative tension and a poet's gorgeous sentences and empathy . . . Though it took Forche half a lifetime to fully share what she saw - this time is also more cryptically recalled in her second book of poems, The Country Between Us (1982) - now is precisely when we need to see it * NPR * Gripping . . . 'I could just as well write my poetry from the quiet of my own study,' Forche writes, 'but I had known since childhood that human suffering demanded a response, everywhere and always.' A portrait of the artist as political and poetic ingenue, What You Have Heard Is True is just such a response, a riveting account of how she made good on that conviction. It bears eloquent witness to injustice and atrocity and to how observing them shaped a fearless poet * The Washington Post * Indispensable . . . unflinching . . . Forche offers up a vast human landscape of terror, desperation and perseverance that stretches far beyond mere borders. It's more documentary than self-portrait, more camera than mirror. Reading it will change you, perhaps forever * San Francisco Chronicle * Once Forche's story gathers momentum, it's hard to let the narrative go . . . Riveting . . . intricate and surprising * The New York Times *


Author Information

Carolyn Forche is an American poet, editor, translator and human rights activist. Her honours include a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Academy of American Poets Fellowship for distinguished poetic achievement and three fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2017, she became one of the first two poets ever to receive the Windham-Campbell Prize. Forch? is a University Professor at Georgetown University.

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