In this portrait of the people, the politics, the land, and the poetry of Nicaragua, Rushdie brings to the forefront the palpable human facts of a country in the midst of a revolution. Rushdie went to Nicaragua in 1986, "harboring no preconceptions of what he might find." What he discovered was for him overwhelming: a culture of heroes who had turned into inanimate objects and of politicians and warriors who were poets, a land of difficult, often beautiful contradictions. Rushdie came to know an enormous range of people, from the Foreign Minister-a priest-to a midwife who kept a pet cow in her living room. His perceptions always heightened by his special sensitivity to "the views from underneath," Rushdie reveals a land resounding to the clashes between history and morality, government and individuals. In The Jaguar Smile Rushdie brings us-as few Americans or Europeans could-the true Nicaragua, where nothing is simple, everything is contested, and struggles to the death are daily fare.