The Jaguar Smile: A Nicaraguan Journey

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Press: Vintage Books (November 1, 2000)
Publication Date:2000-11
Author Name:Rushdie, Salman


In this brilliantly focused and haunting portrait of the people, the politics, the land, and the poetry of Nicaragua, Salman Rushdie brings to the forefront the palpable human facts of a country in the midst of revolution. 
Rushdie went to Nicaragua in 1986.
What he discovered was overwhelming: a land of difficult, often beautiful contradictions, of strange heroes and warrior-poets.
Rushdie came to know an enormous range of people, from the foreign minister - a priest - to the midwife who kept a pet cow in her living room.
His perceptions always heightened by his sensitivity and his unique flair for language, in The Jaguar Smile, Rushdie brings us the true Nicaragua, where nothing is simple, everything is contested, and life-or-death struggles are an everyday occurrence.

About the Author

Salman Rushdie is the author of ten novels, one collection of short stories, three works of non-fiction, and the co-editor of The Vintage Book of Indian Writing. 
In 1993 Midnight's Children was judged to be the Best of the Booker, the best novel to have won the Booker Prize in its forty year history.
The Moor's Last Sigh won the Whitbread Prize in 1995 and the European Union's Aristeion Prize for Literature in 1996.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres.


Travel,Central America,Nicaragua,General,Reference,Writing, Research & Publishing Guides,Writing,Travel

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Comment List (Total:1)

  •     This short book is an almost perfect example of insightful travel writing. The work reminds one of the possibilities of the genre, combining shimmering prose with acute observation. The fact that some of that observation has proven deeply flawed is simply a gift of hindsight. As a picture of central America (an area I know well) at a certain crucial moment of its tortured history the book is simply essential. While the book is unashamedly pro Sandinista, Rushdie is critical of their policy of censorship and failure to include the tribal and black minorities in their revolution. The Jaguar Smile also reminds us of the murderous policies of Ronald and Ollie. Sadly Ortega is back in power and proving little better than that corrupt US duo. But the Jaguar Smile is more valuable for its art than its dated politics. Enjoy it for what it is - a minor masterpiece of travel writing - too often a mediocre genre.

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