Yuri Herrera

A Silent Fury: The El Bordo Mine Fire

On March 10, 1920, in Pachuca, Mexico, the United States Smelting, Refining and Mining Company—the largest employer in the region, and known simply as the Company—may have been guilty of murder.

The alert was first raised at six in the morning: a fire was tearing through the El Bordo mine. After a short evacuation, the mouths of the shafts were sealed. Company representatives hastened to assert that “no more than ten” men remained in the shafts at the time of their closure, and Company doctors hastened to proclaim them dead. The El Bordo stayed shut for six days.

When the mine was opened there was a sea of charred bodies—men who had made it as far as the exit, only to find it shut. The final death toll was not ten, but eighty-seven. And there were seven survivors.

Now, a century later, acclaimed novelist Yuri Herrera has carefully reconstructed a worker’s tragedy at once globally resonant and deeply personal: Pachuca is his hometown. His sensitive and deeply humanizing work is an act of restitution for the victims and their families, bringing his full force of evocation to bear on the injustices that suffocated this horrific event into silence.

Paperback: £10.00
Ebook: £6.99
Print status: Upcoming
Author: Yuri Herrera
Translator: Lisa Dillman
Original language: Spanish
Format: B-format paperback
Publication date: 16 June 2020
ISBN: 9781911508786
Ebook ISBN: 9781911508793
Availability: World English
Number of pages: 120

Reviews

Alia Trabucco Zerán

'A precise and devastating account that peers into the dark mouths of the El Bordo mine as if they were the gates of hell. In these pages, Yuri Herrera paints a portrait of poverty and neglect and reveals, once again, the way exploitation and abuse lurk 'like a silent fury' at the source of all violence.'

Arturo García Ramos
ABC

'Herrera knows how to plot an intense plot and handle an original style, as capable of revealing a miserable and anguished social reality as well as elevating with poetry the humble and everyday life in order to reach symbolic proportions.'

Matías Néspolo
El Mundo

'What Yuri Herrera does is Literature, beyond genres or labels. He amply proves it again now, after five years of silence, with a fascinating story that reads like a novel.

Jaime G. Mora
ABC Cultural

'With his characteristic sharp prose and exciting rhythm, Herrera is one of the most remarkable writers of Latin America. The El Bordo Mine Fire is an impeccable exercise of journalism.'