From the Publisher
A Canada Reads 2012: True Stories Contender and
long-listed for the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary
A gripping, darkly comic first-hand account of a young
underground revolutionary during the Pinochet dictatorship in 1980s
On September 11, 1973, a violent coup removed Salvador Allende,
the democratically elected socialist president of Chile, from
office. Thousands were arrested, tortured and killed under General
Augusto Pinochet''s repressive new regime. Soon after the coup,
six-year-old Carmen Aguirre and her younger sister
fled the country with their parents for Canada and a life in
In 1978, the Chilean resistance issued a call for exiled
activists to return to Latin America. Most women sent their
children to live with relatives or with supporters in Cuba, but
Carmen''s mother kept her precious girls with her.
As their mother and stepfather set up a safe house for resistance
members in La Paz, Bolivia, the girls'' own double lives began. At
eighteen, Carmen herself joined the resistance.
With conventional day jobs as a cover, she and her new husband
moved to Argentina to begin a dangerous new life of their own.
This dramatic, darkly funny narrative, which covers the eventful
decade from 1979 to 1989, takes the reader inside war-ridden Peru,
dictatorship-run Bolivia, post-Malvinas Argentina and Pinochet''s
Chile. Writing with passion and deep personal insight,
Carmen captures her constant struggle to reconcile
her commitment to the movement with the desires of her youth and
her budding sexuality. Something Fierce
is a gripping story of love, war and resistance and a rare
first-hand account of revolutionary life.
From the Jacket
[back cover] "This extraordinary book is four texts in one: a hilarious, pelvis-rocking story of a young girl on an impassioned journey into womanhood, a harrowing testament to the physical and mental labours involved in underground revolutionary work, a history of a Latin America ravaged by dictatorship and neoliberal economics and a deeply loving memoir of a family."-Karen Connelly, author of Burmese Lessons "A moving, heart-racing journey through the political landscape of South America during the 1970s and 1980s, told by a brave daughter of the Chilean resistance. Something Fierce is an inspiration to anyone who strives to live a life of passion and purpose."-Camilla Gibb, author of The Beauty of Humanity Movement "Something Fierce is energetic, funny and dark, thoughtful and moving, told from the perspective of a girl growing into womanhood in a household where to be in the resistance was always to be poised between life and death."-Myrna Kostash, author of Prodigal Daughter "This extraordinary memoir is long overdue. I recommend it to everyone who loves life and needs to know what some give up so life is possible."-Margaret Randall, author of To Change the World: My Years in Cuba barcode isbn 978-1-55365-462-9
About the Author
Carmen Aguirre is a Vancouver-based writer and
theatre artist who has worked extensively in North and South
America. She has written or co-written eighteen plays, including
The Refugee Hotel, which was nominated for a Dora Mavor
Moore Award for best new play in 2010. Something
Fierce is her first book.
Published: April 18, 2011
Publisher: D&M Publishers Inc