The Woman on the Windowsill A Tale of Mystery in Several Parts Sylvia Sellers-Garcia

Format:
Hardback
Publication date:
14 Apr 2020
ISBN:
9780300234282
Imprint:
Yale University Press
Dimensions:
304 pages: 210 x 140mm
Illustrations:
32 b-w illus.
Sales territories:
World

On the morning of July 1, 1800, a surveyor and mapmaker named Cayetano Díaz opened the window of his study in Guatemala City to find a horrific sight: a pair of severed breasts. Offering a meticulously researched and evocative account of the quest to find the perpetrator and understand the motives behind such a brutal act, this volume pinpoints the sensational crime as a watershed moment in Guatemalan history that radically changed the nature of justice and the established social order.
 
Sylvia Sellers-García reveals how this bizarre and macabre event spurred an increased attention to crime that resulted in more forceful policing and reflected important policy decisions not only in Guatemala but across Latin America. This fascinating book is both an engaging criminal case study and a broader consideration of the forces shaping Guatemala City at the brink of the modern era.

Sylvia Sellers-García is associate professor of history at Boston College. Her previous books include Distance and Documents at the Spanish Empire’s Periphery and When the Ground Turns in Its Sleep. She lives in Beverly, MA.