In a Nutshell:
Quite an intense reading experience. The book is written in the third person, yet at times it feels like it is almost in the first person. None of the characters are given names, and only one place, Paris, France, is referred to. It talks of the after-effects of El Salvador’s Civil War, seen from the female perspective. The mother in the story, fights in the war and sees her brothers and father flee and fight. Many years later, she seeks to find her first, missing daughter. The fear and wounds of war are forever present in the book’s narrative.
Suffering of women, misogyny, the wounds and fear of war, historical and personal trauma.
Hernández was the winner of the Anna Seghers Foundation award (2004), which acknowledges authors who are interested in making a more just and humane society through their artistic production.
In translator Julie Sanches’ afterword, she says of Hernández: “her eyes are blueish green and give the impression of soaking up and cataloguing every detail around her, no matter how minor.”
“She’ll be ready to say goodbye once she’s walked back with the girl through all the places she’s just visited, sung her lullabies and said everything she wanted to say to her, this girl who has her body and face and who she’s searched for on the other side of the world.”
Stockists: Want to read Slash and Burn? Buy it here.
Slash and Burn
Written by Claudia Hernandez
Translated from the Spanish by Julia Sanches
28/12/2020, And Other Stories
#WITMonth for 2021 is curated by Jess Andoh-Thayre
I am 35, from London but currently living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. I have lived in Tanzania, Chile, Spain and now Cambodia. I am married to a diplomat and we have been posted in Dar es Salaam and now Cambodia. Prior to meeting my husband, I had also lived in La Serena, Chile and Madrid, Spain.
I am a French, Spanish and English teacher, translator, avid reader and now blogger. When I am not teaching, reading and blogging, I love seeing a brilliant sunset, swimming and hanging out with my husband and son.
Author: Claudia Hernández
Claudia Hernández is a Salvadorean short story writer. Born in El Salvador in 1975. She has written is the highly five short-story collections and two novels, the first of which was Slash and Burn, published in Spanish in 2017 and in English in 2020. 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”.
Translator: Julia Sanches
Julia Sanches, is a literary translator, translating from Catalan, Spanish and Portuguese into English. Born in São Paulo, Brazil, Sanches has spent time in the United States, Mexico, Switzerland, Scotland, and Catalonia, and in her words this gives her “an intimate knowledge of the languages, cultures, and literatures she works in.” She is a founding member of Cedilla & Co., a collective of prominent translators, committed to gaining a wider readership in English for many international voices. Her most recent translations are Permafrost (Permagel- Catalan) by Eva Baltasar, Late Summer (O Verão Tardio-Portuguese) by Luiz Ruffato and Eartheater (Cometierra-Spanish) by Dolores Reyes.