“A beautifully crafted, searing memoir” about fleeing Chile after the Pinochet coup, and the exile’s yearning for home (Kirkus Reviews).
“A multifaceted journey that is geographical, personal and political . . . A complex, nuanced view of United States–Latin American politics and relations of the last forty some years.” —Durham Herald-Sun
“One of the most important voices coming out of South America.” —Salman Rushdie
In September 1973, the Chilean Armed Forces overthrew Socialist President Salvador Allende, ushering in the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet. Ariel Dorfman, a young leftist loyal to Allende, was forced to flee for his life. In Feeding on Dreams, Dorfman portrays, through visceral scenes and startling honesty, the personal and political maelstroms that have defined his life since the coup.
Dorfman’s wry and masterfully told account takes us on a page-turning tour through the past several decades of North-South political history, and the complex consequences of revolution and tyranny—excavating for the first time his profound and provocative journey as an exile and the ramifications for his wife and family.
“Fascinating.” —San Francisco Examiner
“A compelling, profound portrait . . . A work to savor.” —The Boston Globe
“A book that will simultaneously undo us and sustain us.” —Tikkun
Exploring for the first time his years in exile following the brutal 1973 overthrow of President Allende by General Pinochet, celebrated Chilean novelist and playwright Dorfman (Death and the Maiden) gorgeously evokes his lifelong search for home, country, and belonging. Born in Argentina, raised briefly in the United States before moving to Chile, Dorfman joins Allende's revolution, but unlike his hero, escapes death during Pinochet's military coup and is able to flee the country with his wife, Ang lica, and their young son, Rodrigo, in 1973. So begins, through a network of contacts, his long exile, with the family staying for several years in Paris which Dorfman hated before moving on to Amsterdam, where Joaqu n was born. Intercut with the present day are sections from Dorfman's journal of his brief 1990 return to Santiago, his first time back in Chile since his exile. Amsterdam is followed by the U.S., a place that provides both opportunity and angst, as Dorfman must wrestle both with the role of his adopted country (he became a U.S. citizen in 2005) in Pinochet's regime and with the English language in general, as he more thoroughly embraces bilingualism. Never is the pain of his or Chile's past minimized or truly healed, but rather lyrically shared, for, as his exile taught him, the people's strength is everywhere, "beating in all the friends abroad who have cared for us, literally giving us heart, their heart, when we had felt most abandoned."