Book Notes: Cicatriz by Sara Mesa

This is the first book in a long time that I finished de un tirĂ³n. What do you call it in English? In one sitting? It’s that good.

Sara Mesa is a young writer from Spain. I mean, she’s my age but for a writer that’s considered young. The 40+ female authors in Spain are all pretty horrible. I keep writing about them because I don’t have a choice but they are quite bad. The younger generation, though, kicks ass. Last year, I discovered the Basque Aixa de la Cruz who’s good, and now Sara Mesa who’s actually great.

The novel is very fresh and unforced. It’s not like anything I’ve read before, and that’s unusual because I’ve read everything.

I’m thinking it’s unavoidable that I’ll write about it.


In a strike, workers present a series of demands to their employer and withhold something that the employer values – their labor – until he meets the demands. That’s how a strike works, right?

Can there be a strike without an employer who values something you have?

Obviously not. It’s really hot right now but I can’t strike against that. Because there’s nobody to hear my demands of cooler weather and nothing I can withdraw from anybody to make Fall arrive sooner.

Is that so hard to understand? Apparently so. Several of my colleagues are trying to encourage students to join the “climate strike.” I feel deeply embarrassed for the colleagues who are trying to infantilize students needlessly. Students are not employees. They have no labor to withdraw. Not going to class hurts nobody but them. It’s not even cute when a kindergartner demands ice-cream in return for doing homework. In adults, this behavior is simply stupid.

Even if truancy somehow hurt professors, there are no climate demands that professors can fulfill. The whole thing is dumb beyond words.

Thankfully, our students aren’t rich enough to care about this idiocy.