Feeding on Dreams
Confessions of an Unrepentant Exile
By Ariel Dorfman
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Hardcover, 9780547549460, 352pp.)
Publication Date: September 27, 2011
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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In September 1973, the military took power in Chile, and Ariel Dorfman, a young leftist allied with President Allende, was forced to flee for his life. In Feeding on Dreams, Dorfman portrays, through visceral scenes and powerful intellect, the personal and political maelstroms that have defined his life since the Pinochet coup. In Buenos Aires, he’s on the run from death squads. Next, still holding out hope for Chile’s return to democracy, he lives in ever-rotating safe houses in Paris and Amsterdam, where his loyalty to his political party and his wife’s loyalty to him are dramatically tested. Finally he finds an uneasy refuge in America, his childhood home. And then, seventeen years after he was forced to leave Chile, Pinochet is out and Dorfman goes back to live there, setting in motion an unimaginable outcome.
Dorfman’s wry and masterfully told account provides a page-turning tour of the past several decades of North/South political history and of the complex consequences of revolution and tyranny. He has lived in the aftermath of revolution, and his perspective could not be more relevant today.
Feeding on Dreams is a passionate reminder that “we are all exiles,” that we are all “threatened with annihilation if we do not find and celebrate the refuge of common humanity,” as Dorfman did during his “decades of loss and resurrection.”
Chilean-American author and human rights activist Ariel Dorfman's many internationally acclaimed works of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction include his bestselling memoir, Heading South, Looking North, which was the basis for the documentary film A Promise to the Dead, directed by Peter Raymont and shortlisted for the Oscars in 2008. His play Death and the Maiden, staged in over 100 countries, was made into a feature film by Roman Polanski. Dorfman is a frequent contributor to the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, New York Times Book Review, and Huffington Post. He is Walter Hines Page professor of literature and Latin American studies at Duke University, and his numerous international honors include his delivery of the Mandela Lecture in Johannesburg in 2010.
When a military coup took control of Chile in 1973, writer and activist Ariel Dorfman was forced to flee the country. Dorfman reflects on what it was like to leave his home and his beloved library behind in his new book, Feeding on Dreams. More at NPR.org
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"A compelling, profound portrait of shattered expectations and transformation . . . A work to savor for its remarkable moments and extraordinary language." -- Boston Globe"A beautifully crafted, searing memoir . . . A somber, moving tribute to a life of ideals and struggle." -- Kirkus Reviews "Gorgeously evokes his lifelong search for home, country, and belonging." -- Publishers Weekly
"A multi-faceted journey that is geographical, personal and political . . . A complex, nuanced view of United States-Latin American politics and relations of the last 40 some years." -- Durham Herald-Sun