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

Paperback (26 Mar 2020)

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Publisher's Synopsis

'Astonishing, powerful, so important at this time' - Margaret Atwood (on Twitter)
'Riveting . . . intricate and surprising' - The New York Times
'Reading it will change you, perhaps forever' - San Francisco Chronicle

An electrifying memoir set in the Salvadoran Civil War:
the true story of a young poet who becomes an activist through a trial by fire

Carolyn Forché, an American poet, is 27 when a mysterious stranger called Leonel appears on her doorstep, having driven direct from El Salvador. Her friend has heard rumours about who he might be - a communist, a CIA operative, a sharpshooter, a motorcycle racer, 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 so becomes enmeshed in the early stages of a brutal civil conflict which will ultimately see the Salvadoran state turn paramilitary death squads against its own people, and leave nearly 90,000 dead or disappeared. Leonel knows that war is coming, and he wants Carolyn - as a writer - to bear witness to it.

Told across peasant shanties, protest marches, the grand homes of retired generals and safe houses on the run, What You Have Heard Is True is the devastating true story of a young woman's choice to engage with horror in order to help others, of an unlikely friendship which will change the
course of her life, and of a remarkable man's doomed effort to save his people from disaster.

Book information

ISBN: 9780241405581
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Imprint: Penguin Books
Pub date:
DEWEY: 972.84053
DEWEY edition: 23
Language: English
Number of pages: 400
Weight: 296g
Height: 128mm
Width: 196mm
Spine width: 35mm