The Country Under My Skin: A Memoir of Love and War
Lives don't get much more quixotic or passionately driven than that of the Nicaraguan revolutionary Gioconda Belli. She may have been educated by nuns and dazzled all as a well-heeled society girl, but Gioconda lifted her 'guilt of privilege' by joining the Sandinistas in her twenties, to serve and then lead in their underground resistance. If part of her wanted to fulfil society's classic code of femininity and produce four children (which she did), there was also part which wanted the privileges of men - the freedom to carry out clandestine operations, to forge the Sandinista resistance effort even with toddler and infant in tow.'Conspiracy came easy to me,' confesses Belli. She hid political pamphlets from her first husband as she hid her love affairs with remarkable men. This remarkable book is a journey of the heart, through marriages and grand passions, as well as an insider's view of a revolutionary movement. From Nicaragua and its intrigue to Cuba where she locked horns with Castro, to exile in Costa Rica where she organised an underground network, back to a triumphant if short-lived Sandinista government where she was in charge of State television, Gioconda Belli's life is one of real-life intrigue - political and romantic - and hard-won wisdom. And as a novelist and poet, Belli has created her self-portrait with great skill and eloquence.