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.
“An intensive reading experience . . . What Slash and Burn—named after a method of agriculture both destructive and regenerative—shows is the difficulty of creating a new life after war or other trauma.” —John Self, The Guardian
“A brilliant evocation of civil war and its bitter legacy.” —Lucy Popescu, The Observer
“Slash and Burn investigates with brilliance and compassion the depth of desolation, violence and loss the civil conflict inflicted on a scarred society.” —Morning Star
"This is a book that uses indirect narration to create accounts that are both detailed and expansive, putting the personal first but speaking for the collective and from a more vulnerable part of society, really demonstrating the multi-layered meaning of being a survivor.” —Sounds and Colours
“Multilayered and consistently engrossing, Hernández’s knockout novel is not to be missed.”
“An homage to the women who tirelessly fight for justice and survival on all fronts.”—John Gibler
“Extraordinary and utterly gripping, a work of brutally profound beauty and universal significance.” —Philippe Sands
“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
‘Slash and Burn is an incisive look into the lasting wounds of El Salvador's Civil War. It is a tale of generational healing and resilience. centered on its women. Hernández is a calm, cutting voice on how what is broken must be put back together.” —Ryan Gattis
“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”
"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
"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