"George Lovell is one of the few outsiders who has penetrated to the heart of the hideous tragedy that burns amid Guatemala's beauty. He takes us there with style, originality, and a calm understanding in this wise and moving book."
—Ronald Wright, author of Time among the Maya and Stolen Continents
When A Beauty That Hurts was 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 I 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.
One newly contentious issue to which Lovell devotes particular attention is the testimony of Nobel Laureate Rigoberta Menchú, which was challenged by David Stoll in his book Rigoberta Menchú and the Story of All Poor Guatemalans. Lovell argues that culture clash is the most obvious reason for this controversy. North Americans demand individual testimony that can withstand challenge by other individuals, while Menchú has always stated that her testimony was on behalf of her community.
Lovell brings years of insight to A Beauty That Hurts. He documents what has taken place in Guatemala by examining political events and exploring the personal drama of its citizens, especially the Maya. His new epilogue, based on a recent visit to Guatemala, brings the story up to the present.