Through war and its aftermaths, a woman fights to keep her daughters safe.
As a girl she sees her village sacked and her beloved father and brothers flee. Her life in danger, she joins the rebellion in the hills, where her comrades force her to give up the baby she conceives. Years later, having outlived countless men, she leaves to find her lost daughter, travelling across the Atlantic with meagre resources. She returns to a community riven with distrust, fear and hypocrisy in the wake the revolution. Hernandez' narrators have the level gaze of ordinary women reckoning with extraordinary hardship. Denouncing the ruthless machismo of combat with quiet intelligence, Slash and Burn creates a suspenseful, slow-burning revelation of rural life in the aftermath of political trauma.
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About the Author
Claudia Hernández is the highly acclaimed author of five short story collections. Her work has appeared in various anthologies in Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Israel and the USA. She was the winner of the Anna Seghers Foundation award (2004), which acknowledges authors interested in making a more just and more humane society through their artistic production. The National Endowment for the Arts has supported the English translation of some of her books that explore the brutal impact of the El Salvadorian Civil War. Hernández won the prestigious Juan Rulfo Prize in 1998 and was one of Hay's Bogota 39 authors in 2007. She currently teaches at the Universidad Centroamericana José Simeón Cañas (UCA) in El Salvador.
Julia Sanches translates from Portuguese, Spanish, and Catalan. She has translated works by Susana Moreira Marques, Noemi Jaffe, Daniel Galera, Claudia Hernández, and Geovani Martins, among others. Her translations for And Other Stories include Now and at the Hour of Our Death by Susana Moreira Marques and the forthcoming Permafrost by Eva Baltasar. She is a founding member of the Cedilla & Co. translators' collective, and currently lives in Providence, Rhode Island.
"Claudia Hernández's extraordinary novel Slash and Burn has an embattled, unsentimental narrative style, with swift shifts of point of view to voices that are often telling her characters what isn't possible, and a future tense that dramatizes the (im)possibilities for her and her family. Slash and Burn is destined to become a classic."--Mauro Javier Cardenas
"Claudia Hernández´s Slash and Burn, the first book of her monumental trilogy of post-Civil War El Salvador, reimagines the country through the voices of mothers, daughters and wives. The female gaze cuts sharp in this retelling."--Gabriela Alemán
"There is a surreal, dreamlike quality to this story . . . it abounds with memories of violence told in a thirdperson bordering on the first, both because of the randomness of events depicted and the naivety and warmth of the language that recounts the almost childlike aspects of the war, always through eyes and a voice that are, above all, feminine." --The Spanish Bookstage, "Weekly Choice"
"It is astonishing that someone can write in such a clean and transparent way about a turbulent past. Claudia Hernández's prose is the controlled breathing of someone who knows that memory is another battlefield. Claudia Hernández, like her protagonists, lucid and tough women, knows how to cross these battlefields. ROZA TUMBA QUEMA confirms that she is one of the best writers in our language. " --Yuri Herrera, author of The Transmigration of Bodies
"Claudia Hernández is one of the most groundbreaking short story writers from Central America, with a way of approaching the story that is closer to Virgilio Piñera o Felisberto Hernández than to the realist tradition. Her five story collections prove this. Now, with her first novel, Claudia Hernández takes on a new challenge: telling the recent history of El Salvador through three generations of women scarred by civil war, poverty and emigration. A pulsating feminine universe, full of strength and courage, in permanent wait of the violence that surrounds it. An intense and moving novel, and a very revealing way of storytelling that will captivate the reader." --Horacio Castellanos Moya, author of The Dream of My Return