What You Have Heard Is True

What You Have Heard Is True

A Memoir of Witness and Resistance


Carolyn Forché is 27 when a mysterious stranger calling himself Leonel appears on her doorstep, having driven direct from El Salvador. A friend has heard rumours about who he might be - a communist, a CIA operative, a sharpshooter, a revolutionary, a small coffee farmer - but nobody seems to know for certain.

Captivated for reasons she doesn't fully understand, she accepts his invitation to visit and learn about his country, and becomes enmeshed in the early stages of a civil war which will see a state turn death squads on its own people and over 100,000 dead.

Told across peasant shanties, retired generals' grand homes, protest marches and safe houses on the run, this is the powerful true story of a woman's radical act of empathy and her fateful encounter with an intriguing man who will change the course of her life.

About the author

Carolyn Forché

Carolyn Forché is an American poet, editor, translator and human rights activist. Her honours include a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Academy of American Poets Fellowship for distinguished poetic achievement and three fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2017, she became one of the first two poets ever to receive the Windham-Campbell Prize. Forché is a University Professor at Georgetown University.
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