A Change of Skin

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A Change of Skin
Author Carlos Fuentes
Original title Cambio de piel
Translator Sam Hileman
Country Mexico
Language Spanish
Genre Romance
Media type Print
Pages 442 (first edition)[2]
OCLC 349483
LC Class PQ7297.F793 C28

A Change of Skin is a love story written by Carlos Fuentes about a Mexican writer, and his American Jewish wife.


This is the story about a frustrated Mexican writer named Javier, and his American Jewish wife, Elizabeth.[3] The couple is making their way from Mexico City to Veracruz for a vacation. A man named Franz (a Czechoslovakian who helped construct the Nazi concentration camp, Theresienstadt and thereafter fled to Mexico) is with them, along with his young Mexican mistress, Isabel.

Once the two couples have left Mexico, they visit the pre-Columbian ruins at Xochicalco and then the pyramids at Cholula. Their car is sabotaged, forcing them to spend the night in Cholula. There they are joined by the ubiquitous Narrator, who is also en route to Cholula, just to complicate matters even more.

Acclaim for the book[edit]

  • "At any rate, politically objectionable or not, Fuentes has written a challenging and interesting, if occasionally silly and pretentious, book." -David Gallagher, New York Times[4]
  • "defines existentially a collective Mexican consciousness by exploring and reinterpreting the country’s myths." -Encyclopædia Britannica[5]
  • "...human history is envisioned as an obsessively repeated mythic drama or cycle." -Edith Grossman, "Myth and Madness in Carlos Fuentes' 'A Change of Skin'"[6]


  1. ^ a b "Cambio de piel". Open Library. 3 December 2010. Retrieved 9 July 2014. 
  2. ^ "Cambio de piel.". Library of Congress Online Catalog. Library of Congress. Retrieved 9 July 2014. 
  3. ^ "A Change of Skin". Enotes. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  4. ^ Gallagher, David (24 February 1968). "Stifled Tiger". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  5. ^ "A Change of Skin". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  6. ^ Grossman, Edith (1974). "Myth and Madness in Carlos Fuentes' "A Change of Skin"". Latin American Literary Review. 3 (5): 99–112. JSTOR 20118943.