December 2020
contemporary

Exile

By Belén Fernández
Originally published by OR Books

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'Fernández’s fascinating memoir, Exile, is a must-read how-to guide for surviving on the periphery' —Greg Grandin, author of Fordlandia and The End of the Myth

'A searing critique of U.S. imperialism that couldn’t be more perfectly timed' —Dahr Jamail, author of The End of Ice

In just a few short years of publishing her observations on world politics and writing from places as varied as Lebanon, Italy, Uzbekistan, Syria, Mexico, Turkey, Honduras, and Iran, Belén Fernández has established herself as a one of the most trenchant observers of America’s interventions around the world, following in the footsteps of great foreign correspondents such as Martha Gellhorn and Susan Sontag.

This memoir recounts her experience of living as a self-imposed American exile. From trekking—through Europe, the Middle East, Morocco, and Latin America—to packing avocados in southern Spain, to close encounters with a variety of unpredictable men, to witnessing the violent aftermath of the 2009 coup in Honduras, the international travel allowed her by an American passport has, ironically, given her a direct view of the devastating consequences of U.S. machinations worldwide. For some years Fernández survived thanks to the generosity of strangers who picked her up hitchhiking, fed her, and offered accommodations; then she discovered people would pay her for her powerful, unfiltered journalism, enabling—as of the present moment—continued survival.

Belén Fernández, a contributing editor at Jacobin, graduated from Columbia with a BA in political science. She frequently writes for Al Jazeera, Middle East Eye, and Jacobin, and is the author of The Imperial Messenger: Thomas Friedman at Work.