detail from Labels for Hair Ribbons by Manuel Ocampo a delectable selection of oriental appetizers
Sunday, November 03, 2002


: . The Passions of Gioconda Belli:

The Country Under My Skin: A Memoir of Love and War by Gioconda Belli


From Love in a Time of Revolution by Stephen Kinzer:
    Gioconda Belli has had a unique place in modern Nicaraguan history. She was the first woman in that country to write openly about the physical pleasures of sex and womanhood, scandalizing many Nicaraguans and delighting many others. She went on to rebel against other conventions, divorcing her melancholic husband, joining the Sandinista Front, becoming a highly visible official in the revolutionary government and finally quitting in frustration. At each phase of her life she took a new lover. For a time she epitomized the Sandinista Front in which the world wanted to believe: fresh, intelligent, decidedly anti-imperialist but still democratic in spirit. She now writes that during those days she was also tormented by guilt because late each night she came home to two young daughters who complained, "Mommy, you said that when we won the Revolution we would have more time to be together."
    Belli has written the first literary memoir by a Sandinista woman. It tells two stories. One is about a rich girl in a poor country who was carried away by political and physical passion. The other is an account of what went on behind the public fa├žade of the Sandinista regime. They merge easily. Belli's progress through her various love affairs mirrors Nicaragua's history during the same period.

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