Pablo & the betrayed innocence

Pablo (27), student, from Mexico City recommends „Las batallas en el desierto“ by José Emilio Pacheco.

1. What is the book about?
The book „Las batallas en el desierto“ (engl. „Battles in the Desert“) tells the story of Carlitos, a little middle class boy who lives in Mexico City around the 50s. The book narrates from a first person perspective how the life of the protagonist made a twist when he met Mariana, the mother of one of his friends from elementary school. From this moment and so on, he has to struggle with his feelings for her and how to express them.

2. Why do you recommend the book?
I think it´s a great, simple, well written book, that besides the story of the platonic love between the kid and the 28-years old woman illustrates how the US culture interfered not so subtlety the Mexican culture and lifestyle, through the introduction to the Mexican market of their everyday use products.

3. You read the last sentence and finish the book. What stays?
A false nostalgic feeling from a city of an era in which I´d never lived.

4. What is your favorite passage?
„Why do they have to tag everything? Why do they not realize that you just fall in love with someone? Have you ever been in love with anyone?“

José Emilio Pacheco. Las batallas en el desierto. 1981