The Heart That Bleeds: Latin America Now
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The Heart That Bleeds: Latin America Now

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  265 ratings  ·  28 reviews
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.
Paperback, 368 pages
Published March 28th 1995 by Vintage (first published March 8th 1994)
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Doug
As a guide to Latin America of the late 80s and early 90s, of the Contras, Escobar, Noriega and Shining Path—and many events we in the North heard far less about—Alma Guillermoprieto brings a measure of style, guts and cool intelligence to her essays equal to that of any living journalist. Although no longer current events, the vitality of her writing makes every one of these stories feel as urgent and relevant as the day they were written. Each is a glimpse into countries convulsing with change...more
Paula Echeverri
Guillermoprieto is amazing. The geographical and social scope of the stories is really broad, total respect (and a bit of jealousy) for the investigative reporting that led to them. Maybe this is obvious for a journalist, but how fascinating it must have been to visit so many places and talk to so many people from all camps of life. She points out that much of the content and leads came through local journalists, which is just as excellent, making the local media part of each story. The narrator...more
Hugh Collins
Brilliant brilliant brilliant anyone who hasn't read it shouldn't be allowed to vote.
Leland
Nov 05, 2007 Leland rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Gabe
Hands down the best writing on Latin America I've ever read.
Dan De Leon
As I type this simple review, I am in Cuernavaca, Morelos close to so many of the places and contexts that Guillermoprieto writes about in "The Heart that Bleeds." It is certainly an apt title given that while poverty is rampant, politics are corrupt, and the water supply is literally sickening, the people that make Latin America what it is have passion that belittles and overshadows their neighbors to the north. While reading the chapter about Rio, I shook my head in disbelief at the fact that...more
Julio César
My first encounter with Alma Guillermoprieto's reporting ocurred some five years ago in the pages of The New Yorker. The article was called "Fidel's farewell" and it was about the old Cuban leader's decision to step back from his country's presidency after nearly fifty years of uninterrumpted power. I really liked her stylr and her insightful analysis, so when I came across this book and found out that it was a compilation of articles on Latin America from the early 90's, I bought it.
Each articl...more
Patrick McCoy
I was introduced to Alma Guillemoprieto‘s fascinating book The Heart That Bleeds (1995) by Daniel Alarcon from his list “Ten Powerful Books from the Latin American Canon” in the P.S. section of his novel Lost City Radio. It is a series of dispatches that Guillemoprieto wrote for the New Yorker in the late 80s and early 90s on different situations in several Latin American countries. It is dated in that all of the dispatches are from 1989 to 1993, but she is a compelling storyteller and resourcef...more
Amy
Thoroughly amazing how interesting these chapters are considering the events in them took place nearly 25 years ago. Subject matter ranges from drug lords, religion, telenovelas, mariachis, and people who makes their homes among the garbage. The only chapters that didn't fully capture my attention were those specifically about politicians, but even those were pretty good. A great crash course on Latin America of the recent past.
Michael
Finally felt like I had a clear view from the ground in South and Central America. The book is comprised of a number of extensively researched articles which appeared in the New Yorker throughout the 1980s, covering the Sandinistas, Argentinean society in the aftermath of the Dirty War, Colombian drug cartels and more. The scope of her pieces across levels of society is striking. In an article on the trash dumps in Mexico City for instance, the perspectives she presents range from those of child...more
Carlos Alonso-Niemeyer
This book was given to me by my brother in law who is an authority on the topic. Since I left Mexico in 1990, this book provided a window into the news and historic changes that took place in Mexico and the rest of latinamerica during that time.

I am reading a book from Vargas Llosa called [Book: Lituma en los andes] that talks about the events that took place in Peru during the shining path's reign of terror. Also, we hear about ex-president Fujimori's election (now days he is being prosecuted b...more
Nicole
I took a Introduction to Latin American Studies class and this was one of the required readings for the class. This collection of articles is one of the reasons I loved this class. Its a great start to knowing modern latin america and this issues that it has been through. It truly makes your heart bleed when you read Guillermoprieto's writings. One of the most heart wrenching articles was about the Mexican pepenadores, or garbage pickers. I would recommend this book to anyone want to know more a...more
Chris M.
Oct 30, 2007 Chris M. rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone its a good book
Shelves: already-read
1.What makes this book unique is that it talks about vry interesting topic like the unraveling web scandel surrounding the presidential election in Argentina. It attracted me right away becayse it talks about something I really wanted to know more about and that's the story of Medellin.
2.I don't really know if it met the expectation because I didn't finish the but it is overall a great book.
3. I do apporove of the writing style;her style kind of reminds me of Junot Diaz, the auther to "Drown" wh...more
Zane
Guillermoprieto gives insight into the lives of people in several Latin American countries around the early 90s. She has an approachable writing style and provides some nice snapshots of what it was like for the people living in these areas during the time of her reporting there. My biggest gripe is that it just felt outdated (probably because it is almost 20 years old). Definitely a good read for people interested in Latin American life or politics.
Laura
This book in Spanish is entitled, "I am writing to you from the foot of a volcano." the english title is "the heart that bleeds: latin america today." contrast these titles. one is better, no? evidence of that the pernicious slime of magical realist aesthetics finds its way onto anything everything and anything latin american origin in north america? i think so.

the essay about Mexico City garbage pickers is fantastic.
Sarah
A collection of pieces originally published in the New Yorker, these are examples of some of the finer journalism pieces on Latin American society in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Intriguing and thoroughly researched, Guillermoprieto offers us insight on what it was like to live through quickly evolving economic and political changes, in occasionally revolutionary times.
Zach
May 03, 2007 Zach rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Latin Americanists, fans of New Journalism
Alma Guillermoprieto is one of the best chroniclers of Latin America for English readers. Her subjects are amazing, the reporting is quality (while a little superficial at times). The real gem here is that it's accessible to fans of Latin America as a narrative guide to the social issues of the day, as well as a fascinating first read for people without the background.
Adrienne
I haven't actually finished the entire book yet. Each chapter focuses on a different Latin American nation so it's easy to just go through chapter by chapter. You don't have to read the section on the drug cartels in Columbia to understand the one about sandinistas in Nicaragua. If you're interested in Latin American history, look into this book.
Kristen
Alma Guillermoprieto is both an excellent writer, easy to read and often heart-grabbing, but also an excellent thinker. This book is coming up on being a couple decades old, but her insights are still relevant. This is great background for anyone wishing to better understand Latin America.
Katie
shit is good. essays written for the new yorker over a 4 year period about latin america by the very talented alma guillermoprieto who weaves big picture stories from prosaic details. recommended!
Jessica
Great writing, and impressive, exhaustive reporting -- very dense. She chooses interesting and unusual stories in each city and each country as a focus to illustrate a major problem.
Lena
Foundational for anyone studying Latin America. Guillermoprieto is an amazing writer/reporter. Yet readers mustn't forget that these stories are snapshots of bigger picture issues.
Nicholas
really good--a collection of New Yorker essays about what was going on in South America and Mexico during the period it was written, the "lost decade" of the 1990s.
Andy Whalen
To know where you are you gotta know where you came from. A poignant look at a crucial era in Latin America's history.
Diane
Unusual stories of Latin America. Nicely written. You don't have to read the whole book to enjoy it or get the point.
Gabriel
Although now somewhat dated, best insights I've ever read into modern Latin America
Jessica
if you gave this book 3 stars or fewer i may need to fight you.
Library Lady
I loved this book.
Mindy
Superbly written.
andressa
andressa marked it as to-read
Sep 13, 2014
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Guillermoprieto was born and grew up in Mexico City. In her teens, she moved to New York City with her mother where she studied modern dance for several years. From 1962 until 1973, she was a professional dancer.

Her first book, Samba (1990), was an account of a season studying at a samba school in Rio de Janeiro.

In the mid-1970s, she started her career as a journalist for The Guardian, moving late...more
More about Alma Guillermoprieto...
Looking for History: Dispatches from Latin America Dancing With Cuba Samba 72 migrantes Al Pie De Un Volcán Te Escribo: Crónicas Lationamericanas

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