The rich and the poor, the noble and the brutish, and street kids and aesthetes find themselves portrayed in four short stories examining the life of Mexico City
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: This is a collection of four long novellas, originally published in 1981, about characters from the lowest to the highest echelons of society in Mexico City. They offer an insight into the development of Mexican society since the 1910 Revolution, tracking the rise of the new bourgeoisie and the political/social tensions and violence of the late 1960s and early '70s. In one story a youth is torn between his drug-baron father and his grandfather who was a hero in the 1910 Revolution; in another, a young man is recruited from his shanty town to become a fascist para-military thug. The introduction, in English, surveys the life and work of Carlos Fuentes, and offers substantial analyses of the stories and their historical background. This edition also has a vocabulary aimed at A-level and first-year undergraduate students, including many Mexicanisms found in the text. Suggested essay titles and themes for discussion should make this a useful classroom text.