Sergio Galindo: Otilia Rauda (Otilia’s Body)


The latest addition to my website is Sergio Galindo‘s Otilia Rauda (Otilia’s Body). Despite the somewhat sensationalist (though not inaccurate) title, there is more to his book than sex, though sex does play a key part. Otilia Rauda is born in a small Mexican town. By the time she has reached puberty, it is clear that she is going to be full-figured, which attracts the lust of the local men and the contempt of the local women. Her parents – she is an only child – do not find any suitable suitor or, when they do, his parents do not approve, so Otilia is still single by the age of twenty-seven. She is then married off to an unsuitable man, Isidro Peña, who is weak, a drunk and who gives his wife a venereal disease, leaving her sterile. However, Otilia is a fiercely independent and passionate woman. After her parents die, she keeps their house and frequently goes to stay there. Isidro is not allowed to set foot in it. One day, she finds a wounded man on the floor of one of the rooms. It is Rúben Lazcano, a local bandit. Instead of turning him in, she cares for him, with the help of her good friends and neighbours, Genoveva, a local herbalist, and her son, the simple-minded Melquiades, who is in love with Otilia. She cures him but, instead of being grateful, he leaves, abandoning Otilia who has, by now, fallen in love with him. When, eight years later, she sees a man lying wounded on her floor once again, she hopes it is Rúben but is a much younger man, Tomás. She cures him but he is more than willing to show her his gratitude, both sexually and also in helping her get her revenge on Rúben. We learn a lot about the background to both the story of Rúben and the town, during the Mexican Revolution but, above all, this is a wonderful story of love, passion, sex, jealousy and revenge. Surprisingly, it is available in English.

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