The Heart That Bleeds: Latin America Now [NOOK Book]


An extraordinarily vivid, unflinching series of portraits of South America today, written from the inside out, by the award-winning New Yorker journalist and widely admired author of Samba.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

"Poignant stories capturing the essence of everyday life for average Latin Americans. This New Yorker essayist and Mexican-born journalist perspicaciously covers topics from ...

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The Heart That Bleeds: Latin America Now

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An extraordinarily vivid, unflinching series of portraits of South America today, written from the inside out, by the award-winning New Yorker journalist and widely admired author of Samba.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

"Poignant stories capturing the essence of everyday life for average Latin Americans. This New Yorker essayist and Mexican-born journalist perspicaciously covers topics from violence, inequality, and survival to the faithless politicians and the faithful perseverance with which people strive to believe. Beautifully written vignettes of life in Bogotâa, Managua, Mexico City, Lima, Buenos Aires, and La Paz illuminate both constants and differences in the political cultures of Latin America"--Handbook of Latin American Studies, v. 57.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In 13 savvy and sensitive dispatches first published in the New Yorker as ``Letters from Latin America,'' Guillermoprieto Samba tells memorable tales of dislocation and change. Her reports on embattled leaders like Carlos Menem of Argentina, Alberto Fujimori of Peru and Fernando Collor de Mello of Brazil, are never just profiles but rather narratives about national culture. The Collor piece contrasts the public spectacle of his corruption with the murder of a TV starlet in the soap opera-obsessed country. Guillermoprieto also finds quirky, interesting specialists: a Mexican garbologist, a Peruvian Senderologist after Sendero Luminoso, the Shining Path guerrilla insurgents and a Colombian violentologo , who researches the violence of that unfortunate country. For her many resonant subjects, the author looks to every stratum of society, be it a teenage Colombian assassin, a favela-dweller in Rio converted to the growing evangelical church or a Bolivian beer magnate-turned-politician. Born and raised in Mexico, Guillermoprieto learned her trade in England and Washington, D.C., before moving to New York City. If her ironic tone approaches melancholy, her textured reporting evinces deep care for the region that forms part of her own bicultural identity. Feb.
Library Journal
Here are a varied and interesting assortment of profiles detailing the daily struggles of citizens and institutions in nine Latin American countries as told by an insightful and articulate journalist writing for The New Yorker from 1989 to 1993. As a native of Mexico and a resident of New York, Guillermoprieto has an excellent vantage point from which to view the successes and failures of Third World countries experiencing the growing pains and culture shock of political, social, and economic evolution and transformation from the customs and values of the old order to the modern, industrialized state of the future. The clash between the new and the old, as these countries strive to become more ``Western'' and seek to imitate U.S. democratic and capitalistic institutions and practices, sometimes leaves behind a cultural vacuum as well as ethical and logical contradictions, which the author dutifully explicates. Especially useful for academic libraries.-- Philip Y. Blue, Dowling Coll. Lib., Oakdale, N.Y.
Brad Hooper
This is a presentation of authoritative, clearly written essays--called by the author "dispatches," a term that is, intentionally or not, reminiscent of the old days of trench-coated foreign correspondents--about the Latin America of the past four years, published originally in the "New Yorker". Mexican-born, U.S.-raised, Guillermoprieto has been all over the region about which she speaks; and her pieces are based not only on her own observations but also on her conversations with citizenry high and low. Specifically, she writes about Colombia, Nicaragua, Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, and Panama. Whether she's talking about violence and drug traffic in one country, or guerrilla activity in another, or the ubiquity of garbage in yet another, her overarching theme is why these countries find the clothes of late-twentieth-century modernity ill-fitting and what that discomfort portends for their particular futures. Guillermoprieto offers no easy answers, simply appreciating the largeness of the questions."
From the Publisher
"Powerful...a literary gem...wonderfully written dispatches that capture the richness and intensity of Latin America's reality. Those wanting a feel for the spirit of Latin America or what lies behind the headlines will hardly find more vivid accounts of the region's recent history."—The Miami Herald

"The Heart That Bleeds is the work of a master...Guillermoprieto has brought back reports that are unforgettable, brave in their clearsightedness, but unstinting, too, in their passion and sympathy. The countries of Latin America now have their Orwell."—David Remnick

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307787965
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/16/2011
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 871,995
  • File size: 2 MB

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2005

    Different, Excellent Perspective

    Alma Guillermoprieto's 'The Heart that Bleeds' is an excellent companion to any more general Latin American history book. Providing thirteen case studies of great Latin American cities at different times from 1989-1993, this book reveals the 'real' aspect of Latin America that is so difficult to attain in a 'history' book. It is quite satisfying to read her first entry about Bogotá in 1989, then about Medellín in 1991, and finally Bogotá again in 1993. Questions posed in earlier chapters are tacitly answered in later ones. These chapters tend to carry a strong focus on the drug trafficking in Colombia and allow many trends to become apparent over this four year stretch of time. Where in 1989 police effectiveness may be called into question, by 1991 a restructuring is putting pressure on Escobar, and by 1993 police, private groups, and Escobar's enemies have all cornered him into a pit that he did manage to escape from. The air, the people, the reality behind the pleasure and pain are all vivid and crisp. Each chapter focuses on a different topic which expands, surprisingly well, into a more general analysis of the country or region in question. The three chapters concerning Colombia discuss the drug trafficking sure, but they they expand into the sicarios- young people hired as assassins to (oftentimes) support their family and their drug addiction. Another chapter reveals the almost comical indifference that has taken root out of necessity in urban inhabitants who must sleep through as many as eleven car bombs a night. The lives of judicial officials and politicians are also explored. Experts and locals related to each field are meticulously interviewed and their most pertinent details expressed through Guillermoprieto's prose. A chapter on Mexico City delves into the lives and ways of the garbage lords and garbage scavengers, who at one point held immense power over the city. Chapters about Brazil explore the country's rich spirituality and the fusion of cultures which many have embraced. All said, while this book will not teach you Latin American history, it will help you to see Latin America as not just two words in a book, but a living, diverse, and ever-changing part of our world. Highly recommended.

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