In the Name of Salomé is set in the politically chaotic Dominican Republic of the late nineteenth century, on the campuses of three American universities, and in the idealistic Communist Cuba of the 1960s. Salomé Ureña Henríquez lived in the Dominican Republic in the second half of the 1800s, a time that saw no less than thirty Dominican governments rise and fall. By the time she was seventeen, Salomé had become the republic's national icon on the strength of her fiercely patriotic poems for "la patria," or the homeland. Her words sparked unprecedented passion, gave voice to countless disenfranchised countrymen, and assumed a central role in motivating the fight for independence, whether from Spain or Haiti. By stark contrast, her daughter, Camila, born three years before Salomé's death, is shy and self-effacing, cowed by the immense legacy of a mother she never really knew, deeply conflicted about her own attraction to women, and weighed down by the demands of the men in her family (including her father, a one-time president of the D.R.; and her brothers, among them an ambassador and an international literary star).