Between the Lines

Between the Lines

40 years of books without bosses, 1977-2017

A Beauty That Hurts

Life and Death in Guatemala

By W. George Lovell  

A Beauty That Hurts

$28.95 – Available for purchase on October 16th, 2019

When A Beauty that Hurts was first published in 1995, Guatemala was still one of the world’s most flagrant violators of human rights. Now that a measure of “peace” has come to the country, George Lovell revisits the land that he “fell in love with” to reassess and revise his classic account of the evil that was perpetrated by Guatemala’s military-dominated state on its Maya peoples.

A Beauty That Hurts frames the armed conflict that raged in Guatemala, off and on from 1960 to 1996, in historical, cultural, and political context. It also examines the shortcomings of the Peace Accord signed over two decades ago, concluding that the social and economic inequalities that triggered upheaval in the first place have yet to be addressed.

  • Paperback / softback, 288 pages
  • ISBN 9781771134545
  • Coming October 2019


This is a true “Guatemala Guide.” George Lovell didn’t choose Guatemala—he was chosen by this land, in a magic way, to tell us about the shining voices that whisper in the heart of darkness.

– Eduardo Galeano, author of Open Veins of Latin America and Memory of Fire

George Lovell is one of the few outsiders who has penetrated to the heart of the hideous tragedy that burns amidst Guatemala’s beauty. He takes us there with style, originality, and calm understanding in this wise and moving book.

– Ronald Wright, author of Time Among the Maya and Stolen Continents

Table of Contents

Part I Struggle and Survival
1. Q’anjob ’al Canadian
2. Nob el K’iche’
3. Jakaltek American
4. Do ña Magdalena
5. Through a Lens, Darkly
6. Devils and Angels
Part II Blood and Ink
7. The Delivery Man
8. Into the Fire
9. Peace of the Dead
10. Futility at the Polls
11. Civilian Rule
12. A Militarized Society
13. The Daily News
14. The Fiction of Democracy
15. Searching for Peace
16. Scarred by War
17. How Was Guatemala?
Part III Spaniards, Ladinos, and the Enduring Maya
18. The Colonial Experience
19. The Century after Independence
20. Arbenz and the Fruit Company
21. The T-Shirt Parade
22. Natives in the Backcountry
A Guatemalan Gallery
Sources and Commentary

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