Meet the Author: Ariel Dorfman, "Feeding on Dreams: Confessions of an Unrepentant Exile"

October 15, 2011

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Cover of Ariel Dorfman's book "Feeding on Dreams" (detail)

Hailed by Salman Rushdie as "one of the most important voices coming out of Latin America," author and human rights activist Ariel Dorfman delivers a memoir that excavates his profound and provocative journey as an exile.

In September 1973, the military took power in Chile, and Ariel Dorfman, allied to deposed president Salvadore Allende, was forced to flee for his life. Feeding on Dreams is the story of the transformative decades of exile that followed. Dorfman portrays the personal and political maelstroms underlying his migrations from Buenos Aires, on the run from Pinochet’s death squads, to safe houses in Paris and Amsterdam, and eventually to America, his childhood home. Then, seventeen years after he was forced to leave, there is a yearned-for return to Chile, with an unimaginable outcome. The toll on Dorfman’s wife and two sons, the "earthquake of language" that is bilingualism, and his eventual questioning of his allegiance to past and party—all these crucibles of a life in exile are revealed with wry and startling honesty.

Chilean-American author and human rights activist Ariel Dorfman is a frequent contributor to the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, New York Times Book Review, and Huffington Post. He is Walter Hines Page professor of literature and Latin American studies at Duke University.

Recorded Saturday, October 15, 2011 at The Newberry Library.