September 11 has a different significance in Chile than it does in the US. It was on September 11, 1973 that the military coup toppled the Allende presidency and installed the Pinochet dictatorship. This novel takes place in the months leading up to the coup. Months in which the reactionary Chilean right wing, with the very active involvement of the US government, crippled the Chilean economy through a combination of trade embargoes, lockouts, and a general truckers’ strike, in hopes of turning the Chilean people against the moderate socialist government. Against this backdrop we have the (fictional) story of Pablo Neruda hiring a mostly out of work journalist to track down one of his former lovers to find out if he had a daughter by her. The investigation leads to Mexico, Cuba, and East Germany, and back again to Chile as the military coup reaches its final conclusion.