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The introduction draws attention to the “many Limas”—that is, the city’s heterogeneity. For some, Lima is the colonial downtown, with lovely baroque churches and ever fewer colonial mansions. For others, Lima is the shiny San Isidro financial district; the chic Larcomar Mall, which stands above the Pacific Ocean; and the leafy suburbs to the east. The majority of Lima lives elsewhere, in the poorer neighborhoods that stretch out to the north, east, and west or in the tenements that overflow in much of downtown. TheLima Reader seeks to capture these many worlds and the many peoples that constitute Peru’s capital in the twenty-first century. While pointing out its problems past and present, the collection also offers samples of its rich tradition in literature, vibrant popular culture, and gastronomic traditions.

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