This Spanish text is useful for teaching Peruvian, Latin American literature and cultural history at university level. It could also be read at upper sixth-form level as the plot is uncomplicated and the emotional atmosphere is immediately graspable. It tells the story of a young man's experience of growing up in highland Peru in a deeply divided society and of his struggle to overcome conflicts of language and culture. He manages to elaborate an alternative vision of Peru, drawing above all on native Indian sensibility and traditions. In the process, the novel draws on key elements of Peruvian history and culture and above all on popular memory. The introduction outlines the main features of the plot and offers a clear interpretation of the major episodes, relating them to key features of modern Peru and explains the chief elements of native culture that figure in the text, such as the use of myth.