The Sky Over Lima: Juan Gómez Bárcena

★★★★

It’s 1904 and José and Carlos, two wealthy young men, are playing at being poets. They loiter in a tumbledown garret, savouring the romance of pretended poverty, and share their love for their favourite writer: the visionary Spanish wordsmith Juan Ramón Jiménez. His newest book hasn’t yet made its way across the seas to Peru, but the boys are desperate to read it. Maybe they could write to him and ask for a copy? And yet… and yet… They know that the great man won’t be moved by the plight of two impressionable students, so they formulate a cunning plan. Might he feel obliged to answer if they adopt another persona – if, for example, they pretend to be a beautiful young woman?

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