Translated by Thomas Bunstead

Skin is the border of our body and, as such, it is that through which we relate to others but also what separates us from them. Through skin, we speak: when we display it, when we tan it, when we tattoo it, or when we mute it by covering it with clothes. Skin exhibits social relationships, displays power and the effects of power, explains many things about who we are, how others perceive us and how we exist in the world. And when it gets sick, it turns us into monsters.

In <i>Skin</i>, Sergio del Molino speaks of these monsters in history and literature, whose lives have been tormented by bad skin: Stalin secretly taking a bath in his dacha, Pablo Escobar getting up late and shutting himself in the shower, Cyndi Lauper performing a commercial for a medicine promising relief from skin disease, John Updike sunburned in the Caribbean, Nabokov writing to his wife from exile, ‘Everything would be fine, if it weren’t for the damned skin.’ As a psoriasis sufferer, Sergio del Molino includes himself in this gallery of monsters through whose stories he delves into the mysteries of skin. What is for some a badge of pride and for others a source of anguish and shame, skin speaks of us and for us when we don’t speak with words.

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  • November 2021
  • 220 pages
  • 138 x 216 mm / 5 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $25.00
  • 9781509547852
  • Open eBook $20.00
  • 9781509547876
Table of Contents
Gratitudes and Debts

Witches Don’t Egg-sist

The Devil Card

A Swimming Pool in Sochi

The Magic Mountain

The Prettiest Girl in Sandy Ground

A Very Brief History of Racism

The Middle Ages of The Skin

When the Working Day is Done

Conversations With a Stone King

The Boss’s Comb

My Greek


Butterfly in Basque

About the Author
Sergio del Molino is one of Spain’s leading writers of fiction and nonfiction.  His numerous books include La España vacía, La hora violeta and Lo que a nadie le importa.
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‘Sergio del Molino's beautifully written account of skin and its complications is the starting point for a profound reflection on human imperfection and how we deal with it. Drawing on personal experience, while always striving for social and political meaning, it ranks among the best books I've ever read.'   ​​
Andreas Hess, University College Dublin

‘When you pick up this book you must realise one thing: The book is written so masterfully that you won't read it, rather you will scratch, pick and obsess your way through it. Skin is memorable because you live every character and experience in it through your body's own reactions of discomfort, self-consciousness and transient relief.’
Nina Jablonski, Pennsylvania State University

‘A beautifully written book. It is as raw, lyrical and paradoxical as our most human organ. Sergio del Molino has a rare skill in using our outer surface to express the richness of the human condition.’
Monty Lyman, University of Oxford

‘Brave, naked, touching. A work of stark and ravishing lucidity. Epic.’
Irene Vallejo, author of Infinity in a Reed

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