Author: Claudia Hernandez
Translator: Julia Sanchez
Publisher: And Other Stories
Through war and its aftermaths, a woman fights to keep her daughters safe. Like peasants through the ages, she desperately slashes and burns in order to make a place for her children to return to. A country girl sees her village sacked and her beloved father disappeared.
She is taken to the mountains to join the guerrillas, who force her to give up the baby she conceives. Surviving the rebellion, and now a woman, she sets out to find her daughter, travelling across the Atlantic with meagre resources. She returns to a community in which civilians, the militia and the ex-guerrilla fighters have to live together in a society riddled with distrust, fear and hypocrisy.
Hernandez's 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.