The Country Under My Skin: A Memoir of Love and War

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9780375403705: The Country Under My Skin: A Memoir of Love and War

An electrifying memoir from the acclaimed Nicaraguan writer (“A wonderfully free and original talent”—Harold Pinter) and central figure in the Sandinista Revolution.

Until her early twenties, Gioconda Belli inhabited an upper-class cocoon: sheltered from the poverty in Managua in a world of country clubs and debutante balls; educated abroad; early marriage and motherhood. But in 1970, everything changed. Her growing dissatisfaction with domestic life, and a blossoming awareness of the social inequities in Nicaragua, led her to join the Sandinistas, then a burgeoning but still hidden organization. She would be involved with them over the next twenty years at the highest, and often most dangerous, levels.

Her memoir is both a revelatory insider’s account of the Revolution and a vivid, intensely felt story about coming of age under extraordinary circumstances. Belli writes with both striking lyricism and candor about her personal and political lives: about her family, her children, the men in her life; about her poetry; about the dichotomies between her birth-right and the life she chose for herself; about the failures and triumphs of the Revolution; about her current life, divided between California (with her American husband and their children) and Nicaragua; and about her sustained and sustaining passion for her country and its people.

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From the Back Cover:

"This is the best autobiography I've read in years: a passionate, lyrical, tough-minded account of an extraordinary life in art, revolution and love. It's a book to relish, to read and re-read. Unforgettable."
--Salman Rushdie

"The poet and novelist Gioconda Belli has written no ordinary memoir. This book is about American history, North and South; about power and the seeds of revolution; about one woman's life and choices entangled among many lives--and deaths--expended in the unkillable hope for human freedom and love. If her life seems romantic, she writes with the strength and clarity of a realist."
--Adrienne Rich, National Book Award winning poet

"Few writers have spoken so frankly about love, sex, childbearing and childrearing and the intimate connection of these issues with the wider political arena of war, revolution and the search for power. In this way Belli shows the emotional strata underlying events that shaped relations between the United States and Central America."
--Ana Cristina Rossi, author of Maria and the Night and the Mad Woman of Gandoca

About the Author:

Gioconda Belli’s poetry and fiction have been published in many languages. Her first novel, The Inhabited Woman, was an international best-seller; her collection of poems Linea de fuego won the prestigious Casa de las Americas Prize in 1978. She lives in Santa Monica and Managua.

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