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

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

The powerful story of a young poet who becomes an activist through a trial by fire

What You Have Heard is True is a devastating, lyrical, and visionary memoir about a young woman's brave choice to engage with horror in order to help others. Written by one of the most gifted poets of her generation, this is the story of a woman's radical act of empathy, and her fateful encounter with an intriguing man who changes the course of her life.

Carolyn Forché is twenty-seven when the mysterious stranger appears on her doorstep. The relative of a friend, he is a charming polymath with a mind as seemingly disordered as it is brilliant. She's heard rumors from her friend about who he might be: a lone wolf, a communist, a CIA operative, a sharpshooter, a revolutionary, a small coffee farmer, but according to her, no one seemed to know for certain. He has driven from El Salvador to invite Forché to visit and learn about his country. Captivated for reasons she doesn't fully understand, she accepts and becomes enmeshed in something beyond her comprehension.

Together they meet with high-ranking military officers, impoverished farm workers, and clergy desperately trying to assist the poor and keep the peace. These encounters are a part of his plan to educate her, but also to learn for himself just how close the country is to war. As priests and farm-workers are murdered and protest marches attacked, he is determined to save his country, and Forché is swept up in his work and in the lives of his friends. Pursued by death squads and sheltering in safe houses, the two forge a rich friendship, as she attempts to make sense of what she's experiencing and establish a moral foothold amidst profound suffering. This is the powerful story of a poet's experience in a country on the verge of war, and a journey toward social conscience in a perilous time.

Title:What You Have Heard Is True: A Memoir of Witness and Resistance
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780525560371

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

  • Vivian

    Forché, a poet invited to bear witness to the events evolving in El Salvador during the seventies onwards: the Resistance, the brutal and savage repression by the military, and the plight of all from...

  • Patricia

    Forche is a phenomenal poet, and her poetry has long hinted at a raucous and rebellious life lived just beyond the margins, just out of sight of an ordinary existence. This is the story of that life, ...

  • Jackie

    I won this in a giveaway. An interesting story about a woman I knew little about...

  • Brianna

    Wow...

  • Pauline Lemasson

    I read her poem "The Colonel" at a masterclass and was astonished at how much could be said in 20 some lines of poetry. Reading this memoir puts all the context behind that poem. Incredibly important ...

  • Anatoly Molotkov

    When called upon to face the world with clear eyes, what does one do? A moving, suspenseful, important book....

  • Reneesarah

    Listening to Carolyn Forche read this book (through Audible) was an incredible experience. I felt honored to listen to the author read her own words. I can see the history of El Salvador and the Unite...

  • Csimplot Simplot

    Excellent book! ...

  • Kathleen Gray

    Fascinating. Forche had no idea what she was getting into when she went to El Salvador. Many of us have forgotten what happened in that country during the period of this memoir (and younger readers mi...

  • Cindelu

    I won this book on Goodreads. It was rather long but worth it. The beginning was slow but necessary. A really enlightening story that will touch all of us. The horrors of the world are there and we, i...