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Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter (2011)

av Carmen Aguirre

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
20311131,620 (3.96)30
Six-year-oldnbsp;Carmen Aguirrenbsp;fled to Canada with her family following General Augusto Pinochet's violent 1973 coup in Chile. Five years later, when her mother and stepfather returned to South America as Chilean resistance members, Carmen and her sister went with them, quickly assuming double lives of their own. At eighteen, Carmen became a militant herself, plunging further into a world of terror, paranoia and euphoria. Something Fierce takes the reader inside war-ridden Peru, dictator-ruled Bolivia, post-Malvinas Argentina and Pinochet's Chile in the eventful decade between 1979 and 1989. Dramatic, suspenseful and darkly comic, it is a rare first-hand account of revolutionary life and a passionate argument against forgetting.… (mer)
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» Se även 30 omnämnanden

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(8.5)This is the second memoir i have read by this author. Whereas the first book, [Mexican Hooker] focuses on her life as a refugee in Canada, this book looks at the periods in her life back in South America. She flees Chile and the Pinochet regime with her parents and younger sister when she is 6 years old. Her parents marriage breaks down and as an 11 year old, she returns to South America with her revolutionary mother and new partner.
This is a fascinating account of life lived under assumed names and constantly on the move to avoid detection and often being left to their own devices while their mother and step-father are out fighting for freedom.
The author is now a respected actor and playwright in Canada. ( )
  HelenBaker | Oct 15, 2022 |
3.5 stars

Carmen was raised in Canada, where her parents had arrived as refugees after being exiled from their native Chile because they were revolutionaries. When Carmen was 11, she, her mother, her stepfather, and her sister all moved to Bolivia (beside Chile) so they could help with the revolution from there. The book follows Carmen’s life as she grows up to help in the revolution herself, until it comes to an end in 1989 when she’s in her early 20s.

It was shorter and there wasn’t as much politics in it as I was expecting (which, for me, was a good thing!). There was still some; of course, more when Carmen was older. I was surprised that her parents brought Carmen and her sister with them, as it was very dangerous, though Carmen seemed quite happy to be there, so close to her grandparents, as she and her sister were able to travel across the border to visit (though her mother and stepfather were unable to). Certainly, when Carmen was younger, there is not as much mention of the danger, as Carmen herself was not thinking about it at the time. ( )
  LibraryCin | Feb 3, 2019 |
I think my favorite thing about this book is that Aguirre doesn't pull any punches. She describes the different fears that were a part of her life, the way people looked after beatings, and her belief in what she was doing. She relates what happened around her and what she did and that she wasn't just sitting on the sidelines and hoping that things would get better.

I appreciate that she just gives her opinion without trying to convince the reader of right and wrong. It isn't a plea or an argument and she doesn't justify what she was doing to the reader. She just tells you what it was and what she did on account of it. She also doesn't pretend to be perfect or brave all the time. Showing how hard something, especially something like revolution, is hard and it does everyone a disservice when we pretend it can happen in a day or night.

I listened to audiobook, and I loved both her writing style and that she narrated the book for herself. I loved the inclusion of the epilogue and that she relates what was happening in those countries during the publishing back to the resistance because progress doesn't happen in a vacuum. It was an interesting look into what was happening in South America in the late part of the twentieth century. It's definitely not one that we get in the US often.

I had originally found this book as part of the Diverse Books Tag that I did about memoirs (click here for mine). It was my book for "set in South America. Coincidentally, it's also my first review during Hispanic Heritage month! ( )
  Calavari | Sep 28, 2016 |
The Good Stuff
Truly fascinating
She never feels sorry for herself or lays blame on her parents for her - um - wow unusual- childhood
So fucking brave for opening herself and laying everything raw and bare
Learned so much and never even realized that I was learning so much. Talked to many people about this one after I was done
Darkly funny
No holds barred
A truly admirable women - have already downloaded her latest book
Made me feel like I was truly blessed to live in the country I do, but at the same time guilty for my lack of knowledge on what is going on in different parts of the world
Would be a really good one to read for book clubs, as so many issues and themes that could be discussed
The Not So Good Stuff
I am mixed on this one in terms of the audio version. I love hearing her pronounce names and places the way they were meant to be said. But at the same time the reading was almost bland at times. I imagine this was hard for her to read and she probably was trying to protect her self by reading it this way, but for a listener it lacked the passion to go with the tale
Disjointed at times in terms of flow - but hello it was her first book and well obviously I cannot write either so who am I to judge
Jesus Christ people do despicable things in the name of power
As a mom it was hard to read this one as my natural inclination is to protect my child at all causes and never put them in such a dire situation. I don't understand how Carmen's mother could put her children ins such a volatile situation. But these are my feelings and I am no experrt so it is not my place to judge and who is to say what she did was wrong
Favorite Quotes/Passages

" She took the opportunity to remind Ali and me that organized religion had been invented by the rich and powerful to keep the poor down."

“A façade is when you make up a story because it’s dangerous to tell the truth. … It’s a story you make up when you are involved in something bigger than yourself and you don’t want to risk your life or the lives of others.”

4 Dewey's

Another one I didnt HAVE to review, I purchased this from audible with my limited funds - ok fairy godmother - you gave Cinderella a spectacular dress - all I want is to be out of debt, I already got my court jester which is soooo much better than a prince ( )
  mountie9 | Jun 15, 2016 |
Not sure how much of this is true and how much is theatre, but good stuff nevertheless. Hasta la victoria siempre. It also gave me a good old socialist crush on Carmen Aguirre, despite me being in my mid-thirties. What a gal. ( )
  Quickpint | Jun 20, 2013 |
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Valor

Te dije:
"Se necesita mucho valor
para tanta muerte inútil."
Pensaste que me refería a América Latina.
No, hablaba
de morir en la cama,
en la gran ciudad,
a los ochento o a los noventa años.

Cristina Peri Rossi, Estado de Exilo
Courage

I said to you:
"One needs a lot of courage
for so much useless death."
You thought I was referring to Latin America.
No, I was talking
about dying in bed,
in a great city,
at eighty or ninety years old.

Cristina Peri Rossi, State of Exile
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For my son, Santiago, love of my life,
the greatest teacher of all
In memory of Bob Everton, 1949-2009
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As my mother bit into her Big Mac, her glasses caught the reflection of a purple neon light somewhere behind me.
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Six-year-oldnbsp;Carmen Aguirrenbsp;fled to Canada with her family following General Augusto Pinochet's violent 1973 coup in Chile. Five years later, when her mother and stepfather returned to South America as Chilean resistance members, Carmen and her sister went with them, quickly assuming double lives of their own. At eighteen, Carmen became a militant herself, plunging further into a world of terror, paranoia and euphoria. Something Fierce takes the reader inside war-ridden Peru, dictator-ruled Bolivia, post-Malvinas Argentina and Pinochet's Chile in the eventful decade between 1979 and 1989. Dramatic, suspenseful and darkly comic, it is a rare first-hand account of revolutionary life and a passionate argument against forgetting.

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