Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

Exorcising Terror

The Incredible Unending Trial of General Augusto Pinochet

by Ariel Dorfman

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Renowned author Ariel Dorfman, obsessed for twenty-five years with the malignant shadow General Pinochet cast upon Chile and the world, followed every twist and turn of the four year old trial in Great Britain, Spain and Chile as well as in the U.S., the country that had created Pinochet. Told as a suspense thriller, filled with courtroom drama and sudden reversals of fortune, the book at the same time addresses some of today's most burning issues, made all the more urgent after the terrorist attacks of September 11th 2001. What are the limits of national sovereignty in a globalizing world? How does an ever more interconnected world judge crimes committed against humanity? What role do memory and pain and the rights of the survivors play in this struggle for a new system of justice? But above all, the author, by listening carefully to the voices of Pinochet's many victims, explores how can we purge ourselves of terror and fear once we have been traumatized, and asks if we can build peace and reconciliation without facing a turbulent and perverse past.

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Ariel Dorfman is considered to be one of “the greatest Latin American novelists” (Newsweek) and one of the United States’ most important cultural and political voices. A Chilean-American author born in Argentina, his numerous award-winning works of fiction, nonfiction and poetry have been published in more than fifty  languages. His play, Death and the Maiden, which has been performed in over one hundred countries, was made into a film by Roman Polanski. Among his works are the novels WidowsThe Nanny and the Iceberg, Mascara and Konfidenz, and the memoirs Heading South, Looking Northand Feeding on Dreams. He recently published a collection of essays, Homeland Security Ate My Speech: Messages from the End of the World. He contributes to major papers worldwide, including frequent comments in The New York TimesThe Nation and the New York Review of Books. His stories have appeared in The New Yorker, the AtlanticHarper’sPlayboyIndex on Censorship and many other magazines and journals. A prominent human rights activist, he lives with his wife Angélica in Chile and Durham, North Carolina, where he is the Walter Hines Page Emeritus Professor of Literature at Duke University.

Other books by Ariel Dorfman