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Something Fierce wins Canada Reads 2012

February 16th, 2012

Douglas & McIntyre is delighted to announce that Carmen Aguirre’s Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter (Douglas & McIntyre, 978-1-77100-036-9, $21.00, e-book also available) has won the 2012 CBC Canada Reads crown after receiving votes from panelists Anne-France Goldwater, Arlene Dickinson and the book’s defender, Shad.

Carmen’s champion for Something Fierce was Shadrach Kabango. Shad is a Juno Award-winning emcee with three critically acclaimed albums to his credit. After probably one of the most heated and intense debates in Canada Reads’ eleven-year history, defender Shad came out on top with his articulate and well argued case for Carmen’s memoir of her time as an underground revolutionary during Chile’s Pinochet regime. The other debaters made a valiant pitch for their respective books. Despite some controversial comments made by a fellow panelist, Shad managed to keep his literate cool and convinced even Carmen’s seeming enemy to vote for Something Fierce.

Shad said he found Aguirre’s story compelling and defended both its portrayal of complex family dynamics and a youth spent amid struggle.

About Something Fierce: On September 11, 1973, a violent coup removed Salvador Allende, the democratically elected socialist president of Chile, from office. Thousands were arrested, tortured and killed under General Augusto Pinochet’s repressive new regime. Soon after the coup, six-year-old Carmen Aguirre and her younger sister fled the country with their parents for Canada and a life in exile.

This dramatic, darkly funny narrative, which covers the eventful decade from 1979 to 1989, takes the reader inside war-ridden Peru, dictatorship-run Bolivia, post-Malvinas Argentina and Pinochet’s Chile. Writing with passion and deep personal insight, Aguirre captures her constant struggle to reconcile her commitment to the movement with the desires of her youth and her budding sexuality. Something Fierce is a gripping story of love, war and resistance and a rare first-hand account of revolutionary life.

CARMEN AGUIRRE is a Vancouver-based writer and theatre artist who has worked extensively in North and South America. She has written or co-written eighteen plays, including The Refugee Hotel, which was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award for best new play in 2010. Aguirre’s is currently on tour with Blue Box, a one-woman show based on the same life experiences as in Something Fierce.