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Clandestine in Chile

In 1973, the portly, dark-haired, bearded film director Miguel Littin fled Chile after a U.S.-supported military coup toppled the democratically elected Socialist government of Salvador Allende, replacing it with the rule of General Augusto Pinochet. Pinochet's cruel reign was to last some seventeen years, during which Chile was turned into a laboratory for the economic ideas of Milton Friedman, leading to a society where the rich became richer and the poor much poorer, and the government was sustained by an ongoing reign of terror. In 1985, Littin returned to Chile, now slim and clean-shaven, with a false name, false passport, and false wife. Pretending to be a Uruguayan businessman, he was bent on making a movie that told the truth about life under Pinochet. This is the story of Littin's escapade, which was a journey to a risky and in many ways unexpected new country-and into his own complicated feelings as an exile. Gabriel Garcia Marquez brings all his gifts as a novelist to the telling Littin's tale, revealing the unreal essence of life in a country where the plain truth was inadmissible. Clandestine in Chile is a true-life adventure story and a classic of modern reportage.
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About the Author

Francisco Goldman is the author of two novels, The Long Night of White Chickens and The Ordinary Seaman. He divides his time between Mexico City and New York City.


Recommended reading. Bookseller This short memoir of the operation is fascinating, as much for the nostalgic love of Chile which Litten experienced after 12 years' absence as for the machinations of his secret filming. Bookseller The journalism which began Marquez's Nobel Prize-winning career is employed here not only to tell Littin's remarkable story, but offer a tragic summary of Chilean politics. Independent The result is somewhere between a comedy spy thriller and an evocative slice of political reportage. Guardian This superb book sheds light on Chile under Pinochet, but it also is a must for anyone interested in challenging rapacious and unaccountable power. Tribune

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