At 82 years old, Carlos Fuentes has worn many hats. He was the Mexican ambassador to France in the late ‘70s, but his passion has always been writing. As a contemporary of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Fuentes returns to magical realism in his latest novel, “Destiny and Desire,” in which he reflects on the state of modern Mexico and its endemic violence.
The book, in fact, is narrated by the severed head of Josue Nadal, a young Mexican attorney. The narrator's demise is not all that surprising, given Mexico's bloody "war on drugs," that has left some 30,000 dead. As Nadal's body perishes on the Pacific Coast Beach, his spirit arises to recap the journey that led him to that moment. And in doing so, Fuentes reflects on the complicated evolution of Mexican society over the past century.