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.