"The Skin of the Sky is the story of the life of Lorenzo de Tena, a brilliant and troubled 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 a small plot of land outside Mexico City. But when Lorenzo's mother dies, the children's idyllic existence is shattered, and their father brings them to live with him in the capital. Thrust into a privileged world, they struggle to adjust, and an angry Lorenzo turns to the study of the stars to find solace." "Lorenzo is fanatical about the pursuit of excellence in his life and work, and he expects the same of those around him. He strives to make his country a better place for all its people, especially the poor and disenfranchised, and believes passionately that education is the means to that end. He pursues his studies at Harvard, then returns to Mexico, where he attempts to do First World scientific research in a Third World country." "Setting traditional beliefs against technological progress and personal sacrifice against professional achievement, The Skin of the Sky details the efforts of one country to join the twenty-first century, and paints a portrait of a complex, contradictory, and lonely man who can find true contentment and satisfaction only in the stars."--Jacket.