What You Have Heard Is True - Pages 1-59 Summary & Analysis

Carolyn Forché
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Summary

Carolyn Forché’s What You Have Heard is True: A Memoir of Witness and Resistance opens with two passages, one from African-American author James Baldwin and the other from Spanish poet Federico García Lorca. The narrative of the memoir opens with Carolyn and an unidentified man, in El Salvador. They see vultures and, as they approach, Carolyn sees “the swollen torso of a man with one arm attached to him” (4), the head separated from the body. She reflects that, “On this day, I will learn that the human head weighs about two and a half kilos” (4).

In the next section, the year is 1977. Leonel Gómez Vides, a Salvadoran resistance fighter, appears at Carolyn’s doorstep, at her house in San Diego. He has driven there in his Toyota Hiace, with his two daughters Teresa and Margarita. Leonel is related to the...

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This section contains 1,257 words
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Buy the What You Have Heard Is True Study Guide
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