This edition includes a new Preface by the author to the 1997 paperback edition. 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.