Alia Trabucco Zerán was born in Chile in 1983. She was awarded a Fulbright scholarship for her MFA in Creative Writing at New York University and she holds a PhD in Spanish and Latin American Studies from University College London. La Resta (The Remainder), her debut novel, won the prize for Best Unpublished Literary Work awarded by the Chilean Council for the Arts in 2014, and on publication was chosen by El País as one of its top ten debuts of 2015. In 2019 The Remainder was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize.
Kirkus Reviews, starred review
‘Throughout [When Women Kill], the language is both precise and evocative, and the author’s evaluation of the various circumstances is readable, trenchant, and intersectional. A formally inventive, lyrical, feminist analysis of Chile’s famous female murderers.’
Times Literary Supplement
'Exquisitely translated by Sophie Hughes, When Women Kill conveys the wonder of a writer determined to uncover the truth about factual events by using story.'
'This book fascinates, illuminates and horrifies in equal measure ... It’s an elegant examination of how the act of murder uncovers truths society never wants to confront.'
‘Tales of love and hate, exposed with a forensic and lyrical power that is rare, brilliant and deeply affecting.’
‘This brilliant work of essayistic nonfiction reveals forcefully and convincingly the rhetorical operations used by the patriarchy.’
‘When Women Kill is a magnificent work of creative nonfiction: provocative, intelligent, and moving. In it, Alia Trabucco Zerán makes use of her talents as a writer and researcher to reconstruct the complex stories of four women accused of violent crimes in the twentieth century. The result is a masterful and pertinent account full of humanity and emotion.’
‘When Women Kill is an entertaining, intelligent and well-written book that, in the process of deconstructing machismo, reflects on the power of story – be it through literature, court proceedings, news, articles, or photos – and its ability to intervene in our lives.’
‘Are we as women in any way implicated by these four murderers? . . . In its portrait of the media, in the echo from the streets, in the judicial process and sentence of each of the four female killers here, we recognise the judgment of society itself, from which we cannot escape.’
‘Thanatofiction at its best and a debut that leaves the reader wanting more.’
‘Sharp and colourful, contrasting well with her characters’ furious attempts to come to terms with the past … The Remainder is well translated, stimulating and grapples skilfully with a complex subject.'
Katie Da Cunha Lewin
The White Review
'Striking … rendered with impressive fluidity.'
‘[The Remainder] tells us ... everything about what it is like to grow up in the shadow of other people’s unhappiness.'
'In a notable translation by Sophie Hughes, Zerán’s lyricism and eye for detail shine on the page ... There is plenty to commend in the book’s intentions, and in its elegiac ambitions.'
‘[a] darkly comic road trip … [Trabucco-Zéran’s] spring-heeled prose moves lightly from lyrical to demotic, bawdy to elegiac.'
'intelligent and immersive … elegaic'
Edmundo Paz Soldán, author and professor of Latin American literature at Cornell University
‘THE REMAINDER controls a remarkable range of registers (it is, by turns, lyrical, elegiac, sensual, funny, tragic). The author, like her characters, is obsessed with words, those “cracks in language” that house our particular ways of understanding things. This novel is sure to endure.’
‘A fundamental book about what it means to mourn the past, about the remainders of a history that refuses to be forgotten. This is the debut we all wish we had written. A spirited, brave, urgent book, capable of weaving the political and the poetic.’
Instrucciones de Uso
‘The Remainder redefines the political novel . . . The voices in The Remainder are some of the most powerful to have come out of Latin America in the last year.'
‘A Chilean road trip reveals new ways to think about historical memory.’
Las Ultimas Noticias
‘One of the best publications of 2015.’
‘A triumphant debut.’