Meet Canada Reads author Carmen Aguirre

Carmen Aguirre's youth was filled with sharing secrets with her sister, visiting her grandparents and thinking about boys. Oh, and fighting a political dictatorship. Carmen was born in Chile during the Pinochet regime, and her parents were active revolutionaries in the fight to overthrow his government. While Carmen was eventually sent to Canada, she decides to become a revolutionary herself at 18 and returns home to help the cause. Aguirre writes about this unusual upbringing in her memoir, Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter.


Canada Reads host Jian Ghomeshi with author Carmen Aguirre and her panelist, Shad (Tanja-Tiziana Burdi/CBC)

Despite the heavy subject matter, Aguirre promises that Something Fierce is laugh-out-loud material. "I think I'm pretty funny," she said. "I thought I should capture my own voice in the book." She points out that Chileans are "pretty funny people" so it also made sense to capture that element of Chilean culture, as Something Fierce is the first English-language memoir written about the Chilean revolution.

This unique combination of the personal and the political, and the humour and the horror is why musician Shad chose to defend it during the Canada Reads debates in February 6,7,8 and 9.

Why does Aguirre call Shad a "kindred spirit"? Find out by watching the video below the jump!

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Want to meet Carmen's panelist, Shad? Check out his video!

Want to get started on Something Fierce? Check out this excerpt!

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