Leonardo Barroso is a powerful business tycoon in northern Mexico who successfully exploits his connections to the United States. Barroso controls the fate of strangers as well as of his family, and his many decisions —whether to marry his son to his goddaughter and future mistress, for instance, or whether to sponsor a young gay medical student for his studies at Cornell— carry long-term effects for anyone trapped within his web. Bestselling author Carlos Fuentes mingles generations and classes in this remarkable novel, vividly illuminating the cultural conflict that rages between Mexico and the United States. In extraordinary prose, the dramas that ensue epitomize the strange, invisible, and dangerous frontier that divides the two nations.
"Carlos Fuentes has intimate knowledge of both countries and has built and international literary reputation on that knowledge and his compassionate championship of the poor and oppressed. The Crystak frontier, with its powerful writing and many fine passages, reinforces that reputation." —E. Annie Proulx, The Washington Post Book World
Young José Francisco, Mexican and headstrong, grows up in Texas, determined to write about the border world —the immigrants and illegals, Mexican poverty and Yankee prosperity— stories to break the stand-off of silence with a victory shout, to shatter at last the crystal frontier.
`Fuentes` handling of the nine stories and the relationship between them is masterful, the writing is consistently good and at times strinking... he has managed to bring to life the crying pain of the Mexican soul`