Revolution by Deb Olin Unferth
The Year I Fell in Love and Went to Join the War

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Rising literary star Deb Olin Unferth offers a new twist on the coming-of-age memoir in this utterly unique and captivating story of the year she ran away from college with her Christian boyfriend and followed him to Nicaragua to join the Sandinistas.

Despite their earnest commitment to a myriad of revolutionary causes and to each other, the couple find themselves unwanted, unhelpful, and unprepared as they bop around Central America, looking for "revolution jobs." The year is 1987, a turning point in the Cold War. The East-West balance has begun to tip, although the world doesn't know it yet, especially not Unferth and her fiancé (he proposes on a roadside in El Salvador). The months wear on and cracks begin to form in their relationship: they get fired, they get sick, they run out of money, they grow disillusioned with the revolution and each other.  But years later the trip remains fixed in her mind and she finally goes back to Nicaragua to try to make sense of it all.  Unferth's heartbreaking and hilarious memoir perfectly captures the youthful search for meaning, and is an absorbing rumination on what happens to a country and its people after the revolution is over.


About Deb Olin Unferth

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Deb Olin Unferth is the author of the story collection Minor Robberies and the novel Vacation, winner of the 2009 Cabell First Novelist Award and a New York Times Book Review Critics' Choice. Her work has been featured in Harper's Magazine, McSweeney's, The Believer, and the Boston Review. She has received two Pushcart Prizes and a 2009 Creative Capital grant for Innovative Literature and was a Harper's Bazaar Editors' Choice: Name to Know in 2011. She teaches at Wesleyan University and currently lives in New York.
Published February 1, 2011 by Henry Holt and Co.. 222 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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They had hoped to join the Sandinistas and procure “revolution jobs,” but “it turned out that few people wanted to hire us and if they did, they almost immediately fired us.” Inspired by George, whose inability to deny anyone’s request for money left the couple in a perpetual state of poverty and...

Feb 01 2011 | Read Full Review of Revolution: The Year I Fell i...

The New York Times

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The author, 18 and in love, dropped out of college and headed for Central America to hunt for a revolution.

Feb 18 2011 | Read Full Review of Revolution: The Year I Fell i...

Publishers Weekly

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Though the duo weren’t able to play an active role until they reached violent El Salvador, where they cared for children literally caught in the middle of a civil war, took part in protests, and interviewed priests about assassinations, the couple also wrestled with an inner revolution—their ...

Feb 21 2011 | Read Full Review of Revolution: The Year I Fell i...

Los Angeles Times

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Deb Olin Unferth writes of her own voyage of discovery — a 1987 visit to turbulent Central America.

Mar 13 2011 | Read Full Review of Revolution: The Year I Fell i...

Chicago Tribune

It's George who followed the revolution, while Unferth followed George.

Mar 07 2011 | Read Full Review of Revolution: The Year I Fell i...

New York Observer

She’d heard that he’d settled and married in Brazil, but when the detective suggests that George is on the lam in the U.S., Ms.

Feb 09 2011 | Read Full Review of Revolution: The Year I Fell i...

Tottenville Review

Hers is a tricky story to tell, potentially brazen, co-opting a war-torn region as a nifty backdrop for a witty coming-of-age story.

Feb 21 2013 | Read Full Review of Revolution: The Year I Fell i...

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