Homeland Security Ate My Speech

MESSAGES FROM THE END OF THE WORLD


ARIEL DORFMAN

“A literary grandmaster.” —Time

“One of the greatest novelists coming out of Latin America.” —Newsweek

“A world novelist of the first order.” —The Washington Post

“[Dorfman] has written movingly and often brilliantly of the cultural dislocations and political fractures of his dual heritage.” —The New York Times

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About the Book

Combining elements of memoir, political theory, satire, and literary criticism, literary legend Ariel Dorfman’s latest book is an emotionally raw yet measured assessment of the United States after the election of Donald Trump, highlighting the troubling parallels between Trump and repressive regimes of the past. Specifically, Dorfman relates the election of Trump to the CIA-led coup that installed Pinochet as dictator in Chile: an event that upended Dorfman’s life, as well as the fate of the country. With corruption and repression looming, he wonders, can the United States avoid the same kind of political interference it practiced in the past?

Reflecting Dorfman’s virtuosity across genres, the essays of Homeland Security Ate My Speech are concise, yet highly original and playful; one takes the form of a letter from a sixteenth-century King of Spain to Donald Trump, praising him for his intolerance, and urging a revival of the Inquisition, while another begins with Dorfman’s memory of seeing a monster movie as a child (“I can remember gripping my mother’s hand tight”) and segues into a thoughtful meditation on how America created Trump via Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein. Dorfman brings a rich array of literary references to his discussion of America’s current malaise; other authors he invokes include Faulkner, Shakespeare, Cervantes, Melville, Lewis Carroll, and Dave Eggers.

224 pages • Paperback ISBN 978-1-682191-22-4 • E-book 978-1-682191-23-1

About the Author

ariel dorfman author photo

Photo © Duke University

Born in Argentina in 1942, Ariel Dorfman spent ten years as a child in New York, until his family was forced out of the United States by the anti-communist frenzy stirred by Joe McCarthy. The Dorfmans ended up in Chile, where Ariel spent his adolescence and youth, living through the Allende revolution and the subsequent resistance inside Chile, and abroad after the dictatorship that overthrew Allende in 1973. Accompanied by his wife Angélica, he wandered the globe as an exile, finally settling down in the United States, where he is now Walter Hines Emeritus Professor of Literature at Duke University. Dorfman’s acclaimed work, which includes the play and film “Death and the Maiden” (currently being revived on Broadway), and the classic text about cultural imperialism, How to Read Donald Duck, covers almost every genre available (plays, novels, short stories, fiction, essays, journalism, opinion pieces, memoirs, screenplays).

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