Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Skin of the Sky

The Skin of the Sky

A Novel

Elena Poniatowska; Translated from the Spanish by Deanna Heikkinen

Farrar, Straus and Giroux




The Skin of the Sky is the fascinating and haunting story of the life of Lorenzo de Tena, a brilliant Mexican astronomer. Born in the 1930s, the illegitimate son of a businessman and a peasant woman, Lorenzo lives happily with his mother, brothers, and sisters on their mother's farm on a small plot of land outside Mexico City. When Lorenzo's mother dies, his father brings the children to live with him in the capital. Thrust into a privileged world, the children struggle to adjust, and an angry Lorenzo turns to the study of the stars to find solace. He pursues his studies at Harvard, then returns to Mexico, where he attempts to do first-world scientific research in a third-world country. A complex and contradictory man, Lorenzo strives to make his country a better place for all her people, especially the very poor and disenfranchised.

Setting traditional beliefs against technological progress, and personal sacrifice against professional achievement, The Skin of the Sky details the efforts of a country to join the twenty-first century, and paints the portrait of a lonely man who can find true contentment and satisfaction only in the stars.


The Skin of the Sky

"Mamá, does the world end over there?"
"No, it doesn't."
"Prove it to me."
"I'll take you farther from there than you can see with the naked eye."
Lorenzo listened to his mother as...


Praise for The Skin of the Sky

“When I read Elena Poniatowska, I'm reminded why she's my hero, why I write, what kind of writer I aspire to be. She's not only an exquisite writer, she's an extraordinary human being. It's this humanity that makes her writing soar.” —Sandra Cisneros

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Elena Poniatowska; Translated from the Spanish by Deanna Heikkinen

Elena Poniatowska is the author of more than forty works, including the classic Massacre in Mexico and the novels Dear Diego, Tinisima (FSG, 1996) and Here's to You, Jesusa! (FSG, 2001). She lives in Mexico City.

Elena Poniatowska

Deanna Heikkinen

From the Publisher

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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