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SOMETHING FIERCE by Carmen Aguirre


Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter

by Carmen Aguirre

Pub Date: Aug. 14th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-77100-036-9
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre

A sentimental education among anarchists, Trotskyists and Tupamaros.

Now a popular actress and playwright in her adopted Canada, in 1973 Aguirre fled her native Chile as a 6-year-old with her parents following the coup against the government of Salvador Allende. She returned six years later with her mother, a peace-loving hippie turned resistance fighter who “had made it clear from day one that the refugee thing in the imperialist North was not for us.” Fast-forward to the teen years spent on the run throughout much of South America; it was an adolescence with the usual fixations, but some out-of-the-ordinary ones as well—e.g., “My assertion that Loverboy was from Vancouver had been met with sidelong glances among my friends. My school friends in Canada reacted the same way when I talked about stadiums being used as concentration camps in Chile and Bolivia.” While in Argentina, Aguirre surveyed the scene of a country reeling from yet another dictatorship after a woefully misguided war against Britain, when the walls were beginning to tumble down. Most of her youthful revolutionary acts, from bringing down the mighty to plotting to assassinate Augusto Pinochet, did not come to fruition, but Aguirre is usually funny and self-deprecating rather than rueful or repentant.

Not necessarily uplifting, but often oddly entertaining—certainly more so than Giorgio’s Memoirs of an Italian Terrorist (2003), which Aguirre’s reminiscences complement.